All is so far set for this year’s Watoto Wasoka Slums football Derby –a tournament that provides slum children (U13) with meaningful opportunities to play and learn. The 7th edition will be held at Kazo play grounds from this weekend (May 18-19). The previous editions have previously been held in Kisenyi, Mulago, Busega, Kamwokya, Kibuli and Kyambogo and the tournament, will for the fourth time, have a girls taking part with over 100 girls anticipated to take part. The tournament provides a platform where kids can get spotted for both primary and secondary school sports scholarships. “We provide food and safe drinking water for two days to all the participating teams. This is Uganda’s biggest soccer festival for slum kids and besides fun, hope and smiles, the tournament has profound impact on the lives of kids,” said Watoto Wasoka Executive Director Francis Mugoya. “The tournament gives these kids many lessons to learn because football is not about competition, but also encompasses how to live with each other focusing on fair play, team work among others. The time they spend on pitch is 90 minutes away from drugs and crimes. To them, Football is life; it is what makes and breaks them,” he added. Since inception in 2013, more than 200 kids have accessed sports bursaries and scholarships through this tournament. The tournament that started in 2013 has seen many Ugandan stars partaking including Keziron Kizito, Ashraf Mugume, Steven Sserwadda, Joshua Okiror, Moses Waiswa, Mustafa Kizza among others. “I got the big opportunity to play in this tournament and it became the turning point for me,” said Police FC midfielder Yasin Mugume. Sparta FC won the first edition in 2013 before Super Heroes won back to back in 2014 and 2015. Uganda Martyrs, KJT and Mustada are the other winners.
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