Slums Derby 2017, what a weekend !!

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We did it, again! What a weekend! The fifth edition of the Slums Derby was a great success.

723 kids from 50 teams (42 boys and 8 girls’ teams) came through to the greatest youth soccer fiesta in Kampala.

When we hosted the pre-event meeting last month, we didn’t receive as many team leaders and coaches but it was interesting to know the excitement that was brewing among the participants.

That excitement did not lower en route the long awaited weekend. The weeks that followed saw the excitement build to fever point. Kennedy, our Programme Manager, was on hand to register the teams up front, and his desk was always busy; his phone found rest time had to come by 🙂

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When the weekend finally came, it found us ready. We had deliberated on weeks of preparations including endless emails back and forth asking people to support, sending out press releases and invitation letters, and wandering all over town to get all the necessary resources in place.

The first day, Saturday 20th May 2017, we were at the grounds as early as 7am, and the volunteers were roaming all over the place – marking the pitches, registering the teams and screening the kids.

We chose Makindye as the division for this year, and Kibuli as the slum, and Kakungulu Memorial School as the grounds. With balds of bare ground skirted by patches of green at the fringes of the pitch, this was the perfect ground for the festival that celebrates slums football in Uganda.

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First slowly, then in swarms and by 10am, we had surpassed our “carrying capacity.” We had already registered 40 boys’ teams, and we gave chance to an extra two to also take part in the tournament.

By this time, the ground was ready and the pitches were yearning for the games to start. We could not wait any longer, and the first games kicked off at 11am.

The pace was slow at the start, but the rhythm shot up after the first games. For the subsequent games, the tempo was enough to raise dust at all the pitches.

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For many of the residents of Kibuli who had come to the grounds, this was the greatest of multitudes for a football tournament. But this was more than just a football tournament. It was a celebration of slums football. The pinnacle itself! From a distance, one pitch pulled enough crowds by itself; but there were four of them that had been made out of the big ground.

The games raised dust, and there was need for refreshments. To this, there were more than 800 litres of fresh mineral water for the kids to quench their thirst.

The food didn’t take long to arrive and all the kids that came through were treated to a sumptuous meal of rice and.

During the lunch break, we organised the Football 4 WASH drills and were able to carry out workshops at all the four pitches.

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The drinking water, and the WASH drills were made possible due to the support of Viva con Agua.

The after lunch games were obviously more energetic. Not necessarily because the kids had just had lunch, but because there was something at stake now – qualification for the knockout stages the following day was closer than ever before.

By 6pm, we had determined the 16 best teams out of the 42 that started out in the morning.

The following day, our team of volunteers set out so early that they literally caught the first worm. However, the rain had other plans. No sooner had we re-marked the pitches than it started raining cats and dogs, and it did not stop for the next couple of hours. It was heavy enough to wash out the lines we had marked for the pitches, but as soon as it stopped raining, we were at it again.

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The teams came through both the boys, and the girls whose gala was scheduled for Sunday.

By 11am, we were ready to start out with the rounds of 16s for the boys, after which we divided the number of pitches with the girls’ gala taking as many pitches as the boys’ knock-outs.

It was fierce, both on the pitch and off it, but that did not deter the smiles and handshakes, new friends and fairplay.

All the boys’ teams coaches that made it to the quarterfinals won themselves a Watoto Wasoka branded t-shirts, and so did the girls’ coaches at the semi finals.

Before the semi’s could start, Football 4 WASH drills were organised, and the kids had their chance at the famous ‘Germ in the middle’ drill.

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The boys’ semi-finals pitted first timers Kampala Junior Team (KJT) from Kisenyi against traditional giants Super Heroes from Mulago who had gone this far with only 6 kids. At the end of the game, it was KJT that smiled to the finals after overcoming the Mulago side in a heated penalty shoot-out 9-8. AC Jovans from Luzira beat Galacticos from Makindye 6-5 in penalties. Both games had ended 2-2 at full time.

In the girls’ semis, Katuuso overcame Arrows 2-0 while Al-Phoenix sailed over Eleven Bullets with a 1-0 score.

In the finals, KJT had an easy one over AC Jovans winning 3-1 after Al-Phoenix had beaten Katuuso 2-0 in the girls’ finale.

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It was jubilation for the KJT team that had come to the Slums Derby for the first time, and the mood was just as great in the Al-Phoenix girls’ team.

All teams were rewarded with certificates and footballs while the finalist teams were awarded with trophies and medals. The outstanding players were also awarded.

Outstanding performers

  • Best Goalkeeper:

Girls: Nabilah Nakitto (Al-Phoenix)

Boys U13: Ainebyona Sadic (Super Heroes)

  • Top Scorers:

Girls: Anita Namata (6 goals, Al-Pheonix)

Boys U13: Alex Katongole (8 goals, MSCASDA)

  • Best Coach

Girls: Nkugwa Rogers (Al-Phoenix)

Nsereko Ibrahim (Super Heroes)

  • Most Valuable Players (MVP):

Girls: Esther Naluyimba (Al-Phoenix)

Boys U13: Farouk Tumwesigye (Galacticos)

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Appreciation:

Many thanks to everyone who managed to support in every way by offering their resources of time, finances, and equipment, we cannot thank you enough!

Thank you Rene &fam, thank you Andrew Kanagy, thank you Viva con Agua, and thank you Sheila.

Thank you to the crew in Nordhorner (AG Nordhorn, Bau München, Bau Rhein Main, Invest Nordhorn, LRD Oldenburg, Ingenieure Bielefeld).

Thank you Alive &Kicking for donating 23 wonderful footballs to the Slums Derby 2017, we enjoyed them every bit.

Many many thanks to the team of 20 amazing volunteers who donated their time and made the Slums Derby such a great success, thank you!!

 

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