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The Kids League in Peru!

Please click here for a new documentary film recently aired on The Community Channel about The Kids League’s tour to Peru.

Newsletter - June 2009

You might guess that it would be ALL GO at The Kids League!

Project Updates

We began the year by completing the 2 year UNICEF funded project in Karimoja  through which traditionally warring clans came together to enjoy sports plus developments into the beautiful and dangerous ‘Land of Thorns’.  What an amazing part of the world this is! The role of The Kids League there was to work with young Karimajong offering them different perspectives and strategies for resolving their differences and engaging them in alternative ways to occupy their time other than cattle raiding.  There was a strong emphasis on improving school attendance and on retaining pupil s in school beyond primary -especially girls - in this land where academics are shunned and traditional schooling is denigrated.

A British High Commission project was also completed during this first quarter where the focus was on using sports to promote peace and conflict resolution among different ethnic groups in Karamoja. The league engaged children from the Pian, Pokot, Matheniko, Bokora and the Tepeth ethnic clans in sports and outreach activities aimed at promoting positive interaction and development of life skills.

The Kids League has been engaged in a 3 year research programme as a partner of UK Sport’s charitable wing IDS, (International Development through Sport) with funding from Comic Relief to produce robust evidence around the hypothesis of how sport can improve the lives of children in developing countries.  Year 1 was spent designing a suitable research tool.  Year 2 was around collecting data and Year 3 plans will be the dissemination of the information.  Year two being under our belt we look forward to moving into the third year of this project at the end of which the sports partners hope to justify more recognition of the benefits of sports for young people in developing countries which should free up more funding  to support  ‘Sports Plus’ organisations such as The Kids League.

A year long project funded by the  Australian Sports Outreach Programme concluded early this year.  This project provided sporting opportunities to learn about……

The First ‘A’ League season!

Back in Kampala, the first inclusive ‘A’ League season began and breathed a breath of fresh air through the already successful format of KKL’s 10+ years history of conducting leagues in the city reminding us all about the beauty of sports in supporting diversity.  Thirty coaches were trained by APAID, The Kids League’s partner organisation in this project.  During their first season following the training, four funded ‘A’ League teams were offered opportunities for 60 children with disabilities to compete alongside their able bodied peers giving them all a very welcome and rare chance to interact on the field of play .

APAID’s expertise lies in training local NGOs in adapted sports seasons.  This KKL season being football, the ‘A’ League teams also played football while some of the wheelchair athletes played Boccia as an alternative.  The season began against much acclaim both locally and internationally and concluded in much the same way when national coach, Robbie Williams, National Council of Sport Director Justin Liginye as well as visiting dignitaries from Ashoka Foundation USA and Stanbic Bank’s Managing Director presented the awards to some very smart looking children wearing medals and holding photos and trophies!

Through its partnership with APAID, The Kids League welcomed Cheri Blauwet, an amazing American wheelchair athlete and Olympic Gold Medal Winner to Uganda.  As twice Boston Marathon and Los Angeles and New York marathon winner she truly exemplified the possibilities for young people with disabilities who are supported to realising their potential.  An MD, she provided an amazing role model reassuring those who feel sports is a waste of academic time that sports can serve to promote academic success.  Apart from her participation, as part of her study at Stanford University, Cheri also conducted some research around how sports can improve the lives of disabled children in developing countries.  She was indeed an inspirational figure to our young sportsmen and women as well as to the coaches and staff and we hope that The Kids League also made a significant contribution towards the findings of the research initiative.   Wow!

Hampton School

The Kids League are extremely grateful to Hampton School and Ben Murphy, who visited The Kids League last year as a volunteer and who organised a boot collection from the pupils to help begin a boot library through which players are allowed to borrow boots and return them with the promise of replacement boots the following season.  One of the Hampton parents brought the boots over from the UK and his son handed them over to Emma Ntwatwa, Deputy Country Director, at the Kampala HQ in February.

Draycott FC

Just as the Kampala Kids League season drew to a close in April, we welcomed Draycott FC from UK during their 10 day stay in Kampala visiting various projects.  Draycott has originally met up with Kampala Kids League on the KKL Eurotour 2006 which took it to a small village in Derbyshire which the villagers had supported and turned into a wonderful village event.  The Club donated equipment and a cheque for £700 to support the work of The Kids League in the community.

Kennesaw State University

In May The Kids League welcomed Assistant Professor from Kennesaw State University, J David Johnson, and his colleague Linda Johnson.  JD and Linda were with The Kids League for a week to assess how a supportive capacity building relationship can be developed between TKL and Kennesaw and offer study and intern opportunities for incoming American University students.  With The Kids League moving to register a Non Profit in the USA this year, this relationship will potentially be very helpful.

Artfully Aware and UAMA

The Kids League had the pleasure of meeting with Artfully Aware group visiting Uganda a year ago and eager to begin their work in Uganda under the TKL/AfA Memorandum of Understanding , Artfully Aware are doing a fundraising Three Peaks challenge scaling Britain’s 3 highest peaks on June 27th!  The money raised will fund a training workshop led by UAMA in Uganda for young film makers who will document their  participation in The Kids League.  Their footage will be uploaded onto our website giving young people a real voice in the world!  Invisible Children?  I don’t think so now!

Roving Stage Productions

Are also holding a fundraiser in Normandy on June 27th where party goers will dance to live music of south African musician Sam Tshabalala.  This film production company hopes to attract sponsors to produce a film about Kampala Kids League first magical victory in the Gothia Cup in 2002.  For details of how you can help make this happen, please contact us on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Community Channel TV

UK’s satellite based Community Channel will be airing the film taken by Toby Fricker, The Kids League’s former Programme Manager, showing The Kids League’s  trip to Peru during in 2007.  This  team of kids from every TKL district went to a UNICEF tournament in Lima and later called at Barcelona’s Neu Camp meeting such footballing stars as Ronaldhino, and their African hero Samuel Eto’o!   We hear from the young people how sports can changed their lives forever. Watch it first on June 21st.

Kick4Change

Former KKL player Dennis Guma tells his KKL story in the book published by Kick4Change coming out later this year.

Girl Power!

The Kids League has two cross cutting inclusive themes: gender and disability.  Having addressed the issue on disability above,  The Kids League wasted no time on spearheading its promotion of girls in sport, The Kids League been working with an American organisation called Goals for Girls since Sept last year.  This group of 16 girls, their two leaders, Jackie Skinner and Suzy Gillies and three Mom chaperones have been fundraising tirelessly since September 2008 towards their trip to Uganda.  These intrepid girls have been washing cars, baking cookies, holding a Luau - you name it - in order to come to Uganda and share their motivational goal setting exercises with 60 young women at Laroo School for War Affected Children in Gulu town.  We should all take our hat off and shout out a BIG THANKS to these courageous and committed young women whose tour of Uganda marks the first visit of an American Girls Soccer Team to the country and certainly to the former conflict zone in the north.

With a second season of the KKL/A League underway, it was announced that The Kids League has been selected by FIFA’s official charity, Football For Hope to send a select team to South Africa’s Youth Football Festival to be held alongside the World Cup 2010!!!! This really represents the pinnacle of achievement for both The Kids League as an NGO and for Kampala Kids League Euroteam  as a flagship team which has toured abroad for 8 years this year!  Kampala Kids League has worked tirelessly to promote the rightful presence of Uganda on the youth sporting scene at home and abroad.  Several of its players are now playing at local club level and internationally and it is credit to KKL and the players both in the Regular Leagues and in the Euroteams that The Kids League was able to register as an NGO and attract the attention of funders helping it to spread its programmes around the northern Uganda where children have been so in need.  From obscurity in Uganda to the World Cup, KKL staff, officials, parents and kids can indeed be proud of their achievements!

The 2009 Eurotour for the elite KKL team leaves Kampala to head for the Swedish Arctic Circle on June 23rd.  This new bunch of U13s will be working their way round 4 tournaments including the Gothia Cup where the team will make KKL’s 8th appearance no doubt hoping to follow in their older team mates shoes by lifting the trophy!  Several of the ex KKL players now play at International Level and we have welcomed some of the best ones back to act as coaches to the young upcoming players!

 

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