Founded in 2012, Hope for Sports Uganda Hockey Academy has since then budded many hockey youngsters in many areas of Uganda, though Central Uganda, Kampala in particular, is its niche.
Dealing with kids between the age of 3-18 years, the academy has since then seen over 10,000 amateurs get hockey skills and also get impacted in other aspects of life.
Project Co-ordinator, Lawrence Kakande told our reporter in an exclusive interview that the academy has come a long way and now they are keen on taking on big targets to ensure that the game of hockey becomes one of the household sports in the nation.
‘Through partnerships with schools, we have taken the game to the areas where a hockey stick or hockey ball have never been in sight,’ Kakande told our reporter adding that their main aim this year is to create regional clubs all over the nation.
‘We want at least two clubs in each region of Uganda. That will be very good for the game,’ Kakande added.
‘Mbarara Hockey Club, a men’s team is already in place. This year they were supposed to play in the National men’s league but there were delays in registration and related issues hence forcing us to wait for next season to make our debut,’ Kakande said adding that a women’s team in Kampala (Central Uganda) is already taking shape and could feature in the women’s national league next season.
Albeit budding a new generation of hockey stars, the academy has also helped get the kids off bad habits like consumption of drugs and notably encouraging young girls to stay in school.
‘Most of these kids are from the ghetto hence they are vulnerable to wrong elements in society. We use whatever is in our disposal to ensure that they will get a bright future in a long run, not just in hockey but in other aspects of life,’ Kakande said.
Shortage of equipment, insufficient funds, poor attitude towards the project by society are some of the challenges the project is facing.
Through its partners like UHA (Uganda Hockey Association), Fast Sports Fusion and other friends plus well wishers including those overseas, the project is now targeting to organize camps in all regions in a bid to sensitize communities about the game and and also other aspects of life.