IN GULU, UGANDA
Kenya’s biggest ever squad for this year’ Brookside East Africa Secondary School games arrived safely here ahead of Saturday’s kick-off.
A contingent of 770 students, the largest Kenya has taken for the annual event since its inception in 2002, were flagged off by the Director Field Services and Co-Curriculum activities Chacha Mwita at Busia border post on Thursday at 5.30am for the six-hour road trip to Gulu.
Eleven secondary school buses and 10 Kenyan government Land Cruisers, carrying students, 53 referees, 131 coaches, two chaperons, two team managers, two medical doctors, a mechanic and top Ministry of Education and Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) officials made the long journey.
The teams, which had a two-day co-ordination camp in Busia, received full tracksuits courtesy of the Ministry as well as full playing kit from games sponsors Brookside Dairy.
KSSSA Executive officer Festus Muturi is confident the team will retain its overall title once again.
“When we carry more teams, it gives us a realistic chance of successfully defending the trophies we won in the previous year,” Muturi said.
According to Muturi, hosts Uganda will be Kenya’s main challengers due to their impressive home record.
This is the eighth time Uganda will be hosting the competition having hosted it for the first time in 2003, the games’ second edition.
The last time Uganda hosted the games was in 2013 in Lira, where Kenya once again reigned supreme.
The only time Kenya lost the overall title was in 2014 in Dar es Salaam, where the hosts stole the show winning several trophies which had previously been scooped by Uganda and Kenya. Uganda were crowned overall winners.
Friday will be the official rest day for all the teams ahead of Saturday’s start which will see one boys’ football match played.