What you need to know:
- Growth. This year’s edition – the sixth in particular played at the refurbished Acholi Quarters Playground – had 46 teams with those that tried to register late locked out because of logistics.
Six years down the road, the Aliguma Foundation (AF) will look back and smile that what started as a gesture to give joy to the less-privileged in slum settlements of Kampala has grown into a revered tournament.
From an edition that has no more than eight teams, the Annual Slums Soccer Tournament has become a must-attend showpiece on the local calendar of slums’ sports meets.
This year’s edition – the sixth in particular played at the refurbished Acholi Quarters Playground – had 46 teams with those that tried to register late locked out because of logistics.
“The tournament used to last two weeks but this last edition has gone on for 45 days,” reveals Aliguma Foundation CEO Ritah Aliguma.
“We are happy to pull off this year’s event more so during the pandemic. Our motivation was our ‘Ndi Mwana – The Cry of a Girl Child’ campaign which we started in March 2021 after the lockdown in Uganda was relaxed.
“We’re full of belief that the tourney has given hope to the ’Girl Child’ that they can also overcome their troubles and co-exist without being taken for granted in this world. We are overwhelmed by the support of our primary partners UEFA Foundation For Children and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) among others. We pledge to deliver an even better tournament next year.”
For the first time, there was a women’s category that attracted six teams and was duly won by Acholi Quarters’ first team, who defeated another team from the area, Women of Purpose (WOP) 3-0 on January 15. There were more new horizons reached with the U-16 Boys category initiated, too. WOP Boys made up for their women’s team loss by outlasting Tiger Junior FC 2-0.
“It was a tough tournament to manage. But we came through because of the good organisation. The climax was nothing we had ever envisioned. This tournament keeps growing and that’s what we want,” said Ismail Mukoiko, the LC III Council Banda Zone BI, who closely works with AF’s officials.
Worthy cause & prizes
The prizes at stake offered the icing on the cake with the men’s winners Tiger FC, who picked up their second successive title after a 2-0 triumph over Nakawa Slum-based Kawenja FC, scooping not only a glittering trophy and certificates as was the case in the past editions but also winning medals, a set of jersey, soccer balls, an undisclosed cash prize, sanitary pads and a bull.
Like in the women and U-16 Boys category, the men’s runners up Kawenja took home goats apiece alongside other prizes from AF.
Sam Mugyenyi and renowned marksman Sadat Anaku scored the goals for Tiger FC and were a jubilant pack as Emilie Boutroue, the daughter of Joel Boutroue – the UNHCR Representative – presented them the trophy as a sign of AF’s continued emphasis on the ‘Ndi Mwana – The Cry of a Girl-Child’ campaign that has already traversed 30 villages with an aim to impact two million girls and young mothers across the country.
The memorable day was graced by a galaxy of elite dignitaries including Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) and National Council of Sports (NCS) top honcho Dr Don Rukare, State Minister for Kampala Hon. Kabuye Kyofatogabye, MP Nakawa East Joel Ssenyonyi and MP Nakawa West Ronald Balimwezo among others.
ROLL OF CHAMPIONS
2022: Tiger FC
2021: Tiger FC
2020: Luigi Slum
2019: Luigi Slum
2018: Kiganda Slum
2017: Kawenja Slum