In most Ugandan schools, there is a day that is dedicated to sports activities, it is called “sports day”. Usually, the students are divided into groups called houses to which a name is dedicated. The students compete through these houses in co-curricular activities organized by the school. On such days, students show their talents, strengthen their relationship with teachers and express their love and passion for the houses they belong to. Usually, after such days, vivid memories remain in the minds of the students and conversation among friends about the day continues for weeks and even teachers go to classes and have conversations with students about the day.
This year Luigi Giussani High School had a sports day and its houses were; St. Agnes, St. Kizito, St. Savio and St. Theresa. Social workers from Meeting Point International, staff from Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary school and some old students were invited
The day began with a speech from Mr. Kawuki Michael, the head teacher. Who recalled students to participate by saying, “The awaited day has reached for us to bring out the talents God put in us”. Two categories of games were to be played: football and netball.
The day was officially started with the prayer, the singing of the national anthem and then the head teacher declared the competitions open.
“We are not here to compete, but don’t be fooled that we are here to loose”. These were words written on the yellow posters held by the students who were chanting in a loud voice and if somebody whispered, you could barely listen.
The first game was a football match between houses (St. Kizito and St. Theresa), during which students cheered vigorously as the players counter-attacked each other with goalkeepers making saves and others missing precious chances to score. House Patrons were on the touchline giving instructions and encouraging their players. When a goal was scored, you could see teachers and students celebrating hand in hand with each other! And the game ended in favour of St. Kizito; 1:0.
On the netball pitch, the game was between St. Agnes and St. Kizito and St. Kizito emerged winners with 11:6 points. Several houses kept competing throughout the day following the fixture that was made. They were all competitive and all the students participated fully in the competition.
The air was filled with Music which put life in the competition leaving students entertained and happy. At 2:00 pm, lunch was ready, all the players and other students got their food, sat in the Pavilion of the football pitch and were entertained by their fellow students who danced. It was a great moment that left everyone smiling.
After lunch, the games continued until 5:30 pm, everyone gathered in the Pavilion, to listen to the outcomes of the competition, and were so anxious to know how their houses had performed. All the players accompanied with their house patrons were requested to present themselves in front of everyone. The master of ceremony, Mr. Wandera Joseph along with the referees made some few remarks. Outstanding students in the different fields were awarded some gifts and congratulated for their performance and was a lesson for everyone to always aim for greater things.
Before Mr. Komakech Fredy, a sports official count read the final results, he read details of the games and this left everyone barely sitting, anticipating and calculating. Finally, St. Savioturned out to be the first, followed by St. Theresa, St. Kizito and finally St. Agnes which took the last position. The members of the winning house were so happy and excited and could not wait to hold the trophy in their hands. A social worker from Meeting Point International and a guest from Luigi Giussani Pre-primary and Primary School handed over the trophy. Upon receiving the trophy, the DJ played a congratulatory song which left students running all over the football pitch. Other houses were left with a task of becoming champions the following year.
One would ask, “Why someone would hit a ball, the round bouncing solid, try to get it, fall down trying to save it? Why this day?”
According to my observation and judgement, this event was so important in the life of many students, through my interaction with them, many of them told me that it has helped them to refresh their brains from books, helped them become flexible and physically fit, discover what they had in them, created an avenue for them to be so free with their teachers and with this, their performance in school will also improve.
The day closed with everyone dancing to Music without focusing on the results of the sports day rather living the moment happily.
Compiled by Gashumba Emmanuel.