East Africa should take school sports seriously, says FEASSSA

23Aug 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
East Africa should take school sports seriously, says FEASSSA

OVER 1000 students from 126 schools from across East Africa region have battled it out in the 18th East Africa secondary schools’ games held in Arusha this week. 

Students compete in volleyball in recent East Africa secondary schools games held in Uganda. 

Six countries are represented in the games, organized by the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Associations (FEASSSA), with the participants taking part in 14 sports.

Despite not fronting a team this year, Arusha’s St Constantine’s International School provided both the main location and facilities for the games.

The main location hosted events including swimming, football, basketball, netball, table tennis, hockey and woodball.

Sports disciplines, volleyball, rugby, athletics, handball, goal ball, lawn tennis and badminton took place elsewhere.

“St Constantine’s was especially chosen for its beautiful pool, green fields, versatile indoor spaces, secure location and easy access,” Leonard Thadeo, the Director of Sports Development from the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Authorities, disclosed.

“With such facilities, teams can play to their best and future athletes can show off the expertise that might one day see them represent their countries.”

“Through these games, the schools of East Africa have played the role of nurturing the talents for the National teams in the 14 category sports that we compete in at this level,” president of the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Associations, Jutus Mugisha, noted.

“It’s not by coincidence that for the first time in history, four of our six member countries qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in football,” he said. 

“My only advice to countries seeking for sports honours and excellence is one, take schools sports competitions seriously.”

This year, a large increase in the number of girls taking part saw them participate in sports not previously considered their strong domain. 

Results, however, proved them to be a growing force for future competitions despite them still only representing one third of competitors, as disclosed by Stella Mwangomale, netball coordinator.

“St Constantine’s is proud to be able to support the larger community by providing their facilities for such competitions,” the school’s Headmaster, Tony Macfadyen, noted.

“The school is owned by the Hellenic Foundation of Tanzania, which ensures it continues to contribute to the country through ongoing support both within and outside our boundary,” he added.

“As a “Round Square” school we are part of an internationally diverse network, spread over six continents.”

“We believe that in order to equip our students for positive, active and engaged global citizenship we must connect and collaborate, thereby offering them more than academic knowledge and qualifications.”

“By hosting such events as this, we are introducing them to other African cultures as part of their global knowledge.”

Macfadyen expressed disappointment that they were unable to be involved on the fields and in the pool this year.

“However, next year, we will be a force to be reckoned with,” he said whilst smiling.

The competitions conclude on Saturday with a prize giving ceremony where a range of medals and awards are given out and new records announced.

The presentation ceremony will be followed by a social event before the students begin the long journey back to their respective homes.