Champions Kenya will be looking for a good start as the 17th edition of the Brookside East Africa Secondary School Games get underway here Sunday morning.
The Kenyan students will be defending their rugby 15s, rugby 7s, hockey, girls’ volleyball, athletics, tennis as well as swimming titles.
They will also look to reclaim the boys’ and girls’ basketball and handball titles, boys’ volleyball, badminton and table tennis crowns. Other countries set to take part include Uganda and the hosts. The games will run till August 19 at selected venues in Musanze.
Burundi and South Sudan have not sent teams to this year’s edition, which have returned to Rwanda since the 2015 showpiece held in Huye. Uganda, who finished second in last year’s edition, will be Kenya’s main challengers for the various titles.
Team Kenya captain Smith Ouma is confident they can once again reign supreme at this year’s games. Since the inception of the games in 2002, Kenya has failed to win the team title only once in 2014 when the games were held in Tanzania.
“Each of us has agreed that we shall play our roles diligently because we must excel in our respective disciplines so as to emerge overall champions. We have a herculean task ahead against Uganda and Rwanda but I believe that we are all ready to play our A game and ensure that we take the trophy back home,” Ouma said.
KENYAN TEAMS INVADE MUSANZE
The Kenyan contingent that consists of 36 teams arrived in Musanze, some 89km from the capital Kigali. The team was flagged off in Busia on Wednesday evening and departed on Thursday morning for Mbarara, Uganda where they spent the night before they set off for Rwanda on Friday.
Students at this year’s showpiece have a reason to smile once again after milk processor Brookside Dairy renewed their sponsorship. Brookside has sponsored this year’s games to the tune of Sh10 million that will go towards kitting all teams.
Brookside chairman Muhoho Kenyatta together with the company’s Chief Operating Officer Faiz Taib announced the funding on Thursday at State House Entebbe, Uganda. They were presenting the sponsorship kitty to Uganda’s Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni and Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association President Justus Mugisha.
“Our brand is synonymous with the East Africa secondary schools’ games. We (Brookside) are proud to be part of these games that have grown in leaps and bounds over the years and played a big role in nurturing sports talent as well as promoting regional cohesion,” Kenyatta said.
“Each participant has a lot to gain from these games. Our Strathmore University scholarship program for hockey and basketball players is still on and I urge you to give your all so you can gain from the program,” Kenyatta added.