KAMPALA- In these times of sports fields and green belts getting taken over for non-sporting developments, it was worthy that Kyadondo Rugby Club celebrates clocking 20 years of offering a home to the rugby fraternity.
On Saturday, Kyadondo was filled with nostalgia as many rugby stakeholders poured their hearts out to praise the place that has become their second home of sorts.
In 1999, Kampala Rugby Football Club (current Legends) was becoming small for the emerging rugby talents and a few faces spearheaded a “breakaway movement” that landed them into a bushy belt across the road. That place is the current Kyadondo and the rest is history.
Speaking at the ceremony, David Mutaka, the Kyadondo chairman and one of the founding members, was caught between celebration and worry.
“It is an achievement to last these 20 years but it is also a concern because everyday the city is developing and green belts are easy targets. Recreation centres are getting eaten up in the process and that creates a problem in managing the lives of youth,” he said.
True to his word, the whole Lugogo area where Kyadondo is located was once home to close to 10 sports grounds but many have been replaced with shopping arcades.
Even part of Kyadondo is under threat from road expansion projects expected to kick off soon.
Kyadondo is famed for offering opportunities to talented children from the mainly underprivileged areas of Nakawa and Naguru, who have gone on to become some of the biggest superstars in Ugandan rugby.
“Without sports, most might have ended up in crime but we gave them an escape route and hopefully we can still provide it to many more in the future,” added Mutaka.
Away from Mutaka’s worries, the day was filled with entertainment and sporting action.
Top on the menu was the old timers’ match between the Kyadondo oldies against their Legends counterparts; a game that brought out all the memories of the yesteryears.
Sadly for the hosts, they lost on their day.
Kyadondo teams; Hima Cement Heathens, Toyota Buffaloes, Stallions and Thunderbirds (women) also had their crests rebranded as part of the celebrations. Heathens also had their upcoming season jersey presented to them by their sponsors, Hima Cement.
"We are celebrating this wonderful achievement with the new jersey as part of our sponsorship to the team, but also our love for rugby as a whole," remarked Hima's Christine Kyokunda, after handing over a consignment of jerseys, boots and other training equipment.
For now, Kyadondo kicks on.