Soccer competitions at Hope Academy: Promoting teamwork, discipline, and leadership

Sports are a major component of the extracurricular program at Hope Academy. Sports such as soccer (football in Uganda) are not only essential for the physical health of the youth but also promote health competition, teamwork, discipline, and leadership.

This report below was written by Jehan Locke, a volunteer from Australia who has been training the kids on the soccer team for the past few months. Thanks Jehan for your tireless efforts.

Hope Academy Football Cup

I have coordinated a new school sports program for the boys at Hope Academy.  I have tried to address certain issues that previously existed such as playing equipment and equal participation.

The New Competition

I spent one week registering students for the new competition.  There were 51 names in total.  Students were divided into three teams of 17 players – to make things interesting I named the teams after English Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.  The new competition consists of 8 matches and makes use of the weeks remaining in Term 1.  I will also draft a list of fixtures for Terms 2 and 3 for students to follow if they wish (since I will no longer be around).

We purchased for the team:

1)      Two sets of training bibs – previously it was “any shirt” versus “no shirts”.

2)      Three goal keeper jerseys – one for each team in the school.  They are the Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United jerseys.


Jehan handing ball to a student

Four good quality footballs – the school only had some tattered and torn (semi-deflated) footballs remaining.

4)      Two “Captain” armbands – to create some team pride and promote leadership.

The opening match was a success.  Stay posted for the match report… Jehan


Referees Report

Round 1

Arsenal Vs Chelsea (Monday 19th March 2012)

With the start of the new and exciting competition, the match began at a frantic pace.  Both teams were playing with a lot of determination and desire, however they also found it difficult to keep the ball under control.  As the initial excitement subsided and the game settled down, we saw some great football played by both teams.  Chelsea played the first 15 minutes without their influential captain Ssebukyu Henry, however with Walukagga Denis wearing the captain’s armband in his absence, the Chelsea team arguably dominated the preceedings.  However, it was Arsenal who opened the scoring against the run of play.  An unfortunate fumble by Chelsea goalkeeper Atwine Joab was pounced on by Arsenal forward Muhire Andrew who catapulted himself – and the ball – over the goal line to open Arsenal’s account.

With the Chelsea team stunned at finding themselves behind on the scoresheet, it didn’t take them long to find an equaliser.  From the restart, a sweeping move by the Chelsea attack saw a lofted ball played over the top for the flying Buyondo Isma. Isma’s electrifying pace saw him beat his defender to the ball, and from an acute angle he fired home from the right-hand side of the 18-yard box.  His thunderous right-footed shot found the bottom left corner of the goal, leaving Arsenal keeper Kigozi Isaac helpless.


Half-time score:  Arsenal 1 – Chelsea 1

The second-half resumed where the first had left off with much attacking football played by both teams.  Both teams squandered a few good early chances, and the contest was even until Arsenal broke the deadlock with 15 minutes left remaining in the match.  An attacking raid by Arsenal saw a searching through-ball played to striker Sseremba Ben – the stand-in Captain for injured skipper Ssebowa Girisimu.  Sseremba beat Chelsea’s offside trap and was bearing down on the Chelsea goal.  Atwine Joab advanced off his line, however was beaten by an intelligent strike by Sseremba who found the back of the net.

With Chelsea finding themselves behind once again, they really lifted the intensity and dominated the remainder of the match.  Inspirational captain Ssebukyu Henry was the main catalyst for their uplifting play, and they were unlucky not to find an equaliser on numerous occasions.  Arsenal’s defence survived the onslaught and managed to hold on until the final whistle.

Full-time score:  Arsenal 2 – Chelsea 1


Standout Players


Sseremba Ben:  Who lead by example upfront as stand-in Captain; scored the decisive winning goal.

Ssemanda Andrew:  An aggressive defender who was difficult to beat.

Makanga Yasin:  Had a strong aerial presence in defence;  his defensive headers were brave and powerful.

Kaweesi Ronald:  Was dynamic as Arsenal’s last defender; was always on-hand to clean-up any mistakes in the backline.


Ssebukyu Henry:  Who lead by example; really lifted his side when searching for a late equaliser.

Walukagga Denis:  Was solid in defence; was crucial in providing the platform for Chelsea’s attack.

Ssemuju Ronald:  The tiny right-winger often bamboozled Arsenal’s defence; created plenty of chances down Chelsea’s right flank.

Buyondo Isma:  Was strong, fast and powerful upfront; fantastic strike to score Chelsea’s only goal.