Taking Football to a New Level in
Kampala and Beyond
Why do we want to travel abroad? Last year I was approached by a number of parents interested in their children’s football dreams. Uganda lacked a program where kids could get international opportunities and a high level of coaching. There were programs where the football seemed decent, but the teams didn’t travel. There were teams that would travel, but it wasn’t serious football. They needed something that could do both. A program that could take youth football to the next level for the hopes and dreams of their children.
After a lot of prayers and consulting, we decided to extend our program and take it to the next level. In February we kicked off with the goal of giving every child in our program opportunities for their dreams to become reality with a holistic approach.
Youth football in Kampala is very limited. There are some good teams, but a lack of leagues for kids makes it hard for kids to play competitive, meaningful matches. Tournaments are ran, but usually very disorganized with little to no standards of the game. It doesn’t help the kids develop when they’re not given the chance to play proper football.
Rising Star is taking the lead in changing things. We’ve began to organize a league for teams in Kampala (with lots of resistance from local clubs) to increase the standards of play and give meaningful matches; which is more important than playing any match that comes about. We also organize a regional tournament where teams from all over East Africa will be invited to participate. But that is still not enough.
If we want our kids to dream big and play in the European leagues, we have to give them the opportunities to see what the game is like there. We have to challenge them with the best competition and best coaching to allow them to grow. There are a number of talented players in Uganda, few have reached the European leagues. The ones that have are struggling because of the lack of foundation within the youth game. We’re going to put every effort possible to see that our kids can achieve their dreams.
Traveling for tournaments to Europe or the USA is an intricate part of our plan to see this happen. In Dubai our team will face players from India, Japan, Lebanon, the USA, South Africa, and more. In the USA our players will represent Uganda, one of 20 different countries to play in the Schwan’s USA Cup. Our kids will have the chance to experience what the highest level of football feels and looks like and start preparing for the chances at playing at the highest levels. Next year we will travel to Europe as the kids grow in skill, they will be given more exposure and more opportunities.
Rising Star is an elite football program, aimed at the highest results. We’re excited for the opportunities ahead.
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