Lots and lots of photos. ONE month in Uganda went by too fast. There is a lot to write about. Let me start with the Rugby activities and a little traveling. ☕☕☕
Koyo and I travelled to Kitgum on 12th July for the second edition of the Great North 7s which was held on the 14th July. Instead of taking the direct route, we went through Masindi where we spent an afternoon at the Murchinson Falls National Park.
Murchison National Park is stunningly beautiful. I spare you with the travel guide details. Before we got to see the animals we just drove up to the top of the falls. You need to see those waterfalls and hear them and get the nicest shower you ever had. In the park, we could see up to the horizon plus elephants, a lion mum with her 3 cubs, hippos, giraffes, buffalo and a lot more.
While we are taking horrible selfies and other photos, Koyo and I decided we need to make sure that everyone who comes to Uganda to be involved with Rugby Tackling Life must see the country, even if only one national park. Its too beautiful to be missed. We will develop Rugby safaris #traveluganda.
We arrived in Gulu after dark, where we stayed for the night and left before sun rise to Kitgum. In Kitgum, the RTL crew spent the Friday before the tournament carrying out various activities in Kitgum – Koyo had a brief gym session with Flavia Agenorwot and also had a field session training rugby coaches with an emphasis on ball handling skills, scrummaging, contact skills and defence. We both met Agenorwot’s tailoring tutor and also had a fruitful meeting with Kitgum Lions Rugby Football Club officials, Francis Orach Oyat and Rohwan Lovington Opoka. We made plans for growing rugby in Kitgum and spreading it to areas such as Agago, Pader, Kalango and Lamwo.
On Friday, Koyo and I also met the principal of Reverend Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College who emphasized that residents of northern Uganda were still suffering from the trauma of the war in that region and that he believed the ideal therapy for children is for them to play. Rugby as a sport, as well as, its core values appeals to school head teachers and games masters in Kitgum and they have embraced the sport readily. Reverend Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College and Kitgum Comprehensive College have gone a step further and now offer rugby bursaries to both boys and girls – this has helped keep a number of girls in school thus avoiding the inevitable early marriage and early pregnancy that is common among girls who drop out of school in northern Uganda.
The Great North Rugby 7s tournament was organised by Kitgum Lions Rugby Football Club and hosted by Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College, Kitgum. Last year’s tournament was hosted by Lira’s Lango College. Kitgum Comprehensive College and Lango College won the girls’and boys‘ categories respectively and came into this year’s tournament hoping to defend their titles. However, the Reverend Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College girls‘ and boys‘ teams, coached by Uganda 7s international, Flavia Agenorwot, went unbeaten in this years‘ round robin tournament to clinch both titles.
Thirteen year old, Brethny Lamara (YY Okot Memorial College B ) wowed spectators with her footwork and ball distribution and was the deserved girls‘ player of the tournament while Reverend Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College A’s Joshua Okema was the boys‘ player of the tournament.
Girls category ranking
- 1st – Reverend Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College
- 2nd – St Katherine’s Secondary School, Lira
- 3rd – Kitgum Comprehensive College
- 4th – YY Okot Memorial College A, Kitgum
- 5th – YY Okot Memorial College B
Boys category ranking
- 1st – Reverend Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College A
- 2nd – Kitgum Comprehensive College A
- 3rd – Lango College
- 4th – Reverend Jabuloni Issoke Memorial College B
- 5th – Kitgum Comprehensive College B
Rugby Tackling Life held rugby training clinics at 3 secondary schools in Jinja – Masese Seed Secondary School, Jinja Modern Secondary School and Mpumudde Seed Secondary School – from July 17th – 19th. A total of 69 girls and 67 boys from the 3 schools were coached by RTL coaches, Bashir Bakel and Grace Auma. The RTL Jinja schools rugby clinic then concluded with girls‘ and boys‘ 7 aside tournaments on Friday 20th July at the Abel Dhaira stadium in Walukuba. Jinja Modern Secondary School beat Masese Seed Secondary School „A“ 10-00 in the girls‘ final to win the inaugural RTL Jinja School Girls‘ 7s tournament. Natesho Shaminah (Masese Seed Secondary School „A“) was the girls‘ MVP. In the boys’ category, Masese Seed Secondary School „A“ beat their second side, Masese Seed Secondary School „B“ 19-07 in the boys‘ final to be crowned champions. Mudoch Sadam (Jinja Modern Secondary School „A“) was the boys‘ MVP.
Scroll to the bottom and see some of the better photos taken.