The Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Championship set to kick off this Saturday in Gulu, Uganda received a major boost yesterday after milk processor Brookside Dairy unveiled a Sh35 million sponsorship for the event.
The company has sponsored the event for the last nine years and the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) Term One games since 2003.
Brookside marketing manager, Peter Wesonga, reiterated that the company is proud to sponsor the annual event.
Wesonga also challenged the Kenyan representatives to fight hard and retain the overall title. He also urged them to punch above their weight and win the elusive netball trophy this time round.
“We are committed to supporting talent and that is why we will continue being part and parcel of the event. At the same time, our scholarship Partnership with Strathmore University still continues,” said Wesonga.
He added: “So far, scouts have picked 84 students, who play basketball and hockey in a bid to fight for the available six slots. This number could still go up or down in between the games, but at the end of the event, we will select 40 players to join boot camp in November and six players will join institution at the end of it all.”
However, for one to join the institution he or she must get a score of A- and above.
FEASSA president Justus Mugisha, who was at the unveiling ceremony at a Nairobi hotel, said their continued partnership with the company has had a tremendous positive impact on the games.
Mugisha, who doubles up as the Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) first vice president, said the stage is set and Gulu region is excited to host the games.
“Just to show how set we are to stage the event, we have extended an invitation to the Uganda President Yoweri Museveni for the opening ceremony and all indication are that he will be there with his wife Janet Yoweri who is also the Education and Sports Minister among other dignitaries,” said the official.
He added: “Since these games have become a household name, in future, we intend to make sure they reach all the participating nations by beaming them live and also synchronizing the programs across all these nations. We also hope to create an age group competition for Under-16 .”
KSSSA secretary general, David Ngugi noted the participating teams were flagged off yesterday at the Olympic High School before leaving for Busia, where they converge before departing to host nation on Thursday.
“Kenya will be represented by 700 students accompanied by 100 officials. We remain indebted to Brookside and we appeal to more companies to come on board in a bid to give the event an international outlook,” said Ngugi.