KAMPALA- Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) will tomorrow return to King’s College Budo, an institution the club owes its roots to, to mark their sixth Schools Festival.
In 2009, old boys from Budo convened to start a new club in KHC. But they slowly started to realise that the pool of players in Lugogo was too small to sustain about five clubs.
KHC then turned to schools like Budo, St. Mary’s College Namagunga and later on Kakungulu Memorial School to recruit both men and ladies.
The KHC Schools Festival started in 2014 to consolidate and celebrate the Lugogo-based club’s achievements in those institutions. It has instead, alongside the National Post Primary Games, become one of the most sought out after secondary schools competitions.
But the process of nurturing talent ahead of each festival has been a rollercoaster with KHC losing ground in those schools to other clubs due to what the head of festival Albert Kimumwe describes as “financial challenges.”
“In an amateur setting, where you do not make any money as a club, it can be very challenging to support schools – especially those outside Kampala – with coaches and equipment.”
However, the club has fed on the pragmatism of individuals like Moses Nsereko, Habib Sewava, Emmanuel Isyagi and Bernard Bwire who use personal resources to push the KHC agenda in schools like Namilyango College, Naalya SS – Bweyogerere and Seeta Green Campus among others.
On the other hand, KHC need to do more on tying down talent, especially the girls, from schools. Surprisingly nearly all male MVPs (Most Valuable Players) from the festival like Collins Batusa (2017), Ashraf Tumwesigye (2016) and now Isaac Kyeyune have played for the club.
The depleted KHC ladies’ team Swans, could actually do with ensuring the next crop of players that excite the festival do not disappear in the thin air like Joy Sserunjogi (2018), Patience Asiimwe (2017), Patricia Nakyanzi (2016) and Miriam Otim – who lit up Gayaza High School in 2015.