Sh35 million boost for regional games

Brookside Dairy has sponsored the East African secondary schools games to the tune of Sh35 million.

The games, which bring together teams from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, begin this weekend in Gulu, Uganda.

Brookside Dairy has for the ninth time in a row sponsored all the 21 disciplines to be contested for in the tournament, which will be held at the Sacred Heart Girls School, St Joseph Layibi and Kaunda Grounds Hall in Gulu.

This year’s competition will mark the 16th edition of the tournament. Apart from the trophies, the federation of East African Secondary Schools Sports Associations (Feasssa) will also offer six talented players full scholarships at Strathmore Business School in Nairobi.

The scholarships are only open for students taking part in either hockey or basketball.

Speaking during the launch on Tuesday in Nairobi, Feasssa president Justus Mugisha confirmed that all measures have been taken to ensure a successfully championship so that the tournament achieves its purpose of nurturing sports talent.

“The profile of the games has been growing every year and there is already a lot of anticipation ahead of this year’s event. The whole of Gulu is waiting for the competitions to start and this year we plan to have the games aired live on television so that the entire region can follow the proceedings from Gulu,” Mugisha said.

“Every year we have had different countries winning different categories apart from netball where Uganda has dominated, but we believe that this year is going to be different. Maybe another country will walk away with the crown.

Mugisha, together with Feassa Secretary General David Ngugi, said measures have been taken to eliminate age-cheating.

“We have put in place strict rules this time to bar age-cheating. Automatic disqualification and long bans await culprits. We have also endorsed an anti-doping policy and we are encouraging the participants to stay away from any performance-enhancing drugs,” he said,

For this year’s event, Kenya is expected to field 50 teams consisting 700 players and 10 officials. The Kenyan delegation left the country by road Tuesday morning, and is expected to arrive in Gulu Thursday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s curtain-raiser.

Last year’s competition was held in Eldoret where Kenya retained the overall team title.

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