The New Hope Academy students enjoyed several opportunities to compete in sports with other schools in the past couple weeks – football (soccer), netball, and basketball. Below are a few reports from those who participated in or attended the events.
Football & Netball – Zone & District Tournaments
By Elly Chelangat, Teacher at the primary school and a football coach for NHA
It is an interesting and exciting moment when you can see unique smiles from our sons and daughters who get an opportunity to compete.
We have already done football and netball competitions at two levels for the Coca-Cola National Secondary ball games competitions. Level one was at Kiwoko zone [on March 24th] where we had only four schools show up. The performance of our teams were very good. Boys’ football team won one match and drew [tied] two matches, leading them to the 2nd place. Girls’ netball team won all their matches leading them to the 1st place. Both teams qualified to play at the district level.
At the district level [on March 31st], we had very many schools show up for competitions. The boys’ football team lost at group stages and the girls’ netball team made it up to semi-finals. They lost their game, but in overall performance both teams did amazingly well. Girls’ netball team took the 3rd place, qualifying them to play at the regional level [which will be during the second school term of the year].
Praise God for our children’s performance. For the last five years, our boys’ football team has not been qualifying to play at the district level, but this time around we made it. And that gives us hope for the future to perform much better. This boys’ football team was the youngest of all.
We also had good moments to connect with them socially, spiritually, and physically. Both teams were very cooperative and disciplined. Most players are in Senior 1, 2 and 3 [the first three of four classes at NHA] and this gives us a better focus for next year’s Coca-Cola Ball Games Competitions.
The coaches also were very hardworking and did the best they could to bring the teams up to this point. Praise God for them. We had Aunt Gloria, Aunt Sheila, Aunt Scovia, Uncle Emmanuel Mwesigye, Uncle Elly and Uncle Kato Noah.
We would appreciate for your prayers in the following ways:
–For the girls’ netball team to see God more in the next competitions coming up on April 19th at the regional level in Kiboga district.
–In future to have enough balls for training and a complete soccer kit
District Netball Report
By Rachel, a member of the team who is in Senior 4 (10th grade)
[Netball is a girls’ sport that is rather similar to basketball, though with some different rules. There are specific areas of the court that players in different positions can be in. Also, when a player is holding the ball they must keep one foot planted on the ground.]
We were 10 members who had been elected to go and that is to say a full team with three substitutes. After we reached the venue, we were informed that the footballers were going to play all their football matches at another football field. We felt bad about that since the boys would not have any supporters.
We were put in Group A where we played five different teams. The games were well-played except one which we lost by a goal difference of six. We were able to be in the second position in our group and we therefore qualified for semi-finals. We faced Maeolido School at semi-finals and we were defeated by some good goals. But whether in or lose we should glorify God. Since we did our best we were happy of the outcomes.
Disciplinary wise, the girls were well-disciplined and we never had such cases like looking for them when the games have started. Though the girls were affected by the [rudeness of others], they never responded negatively to the people. They were just smiling and keeping quiet and this made the offenders to become angrier since they were talking to themselves.
The challenges which we faced were not so many but at last we were able to solve them. We did not have supporters and therefore if the opponents scored some goals the whole field would support them but if we scored, the field supporters would bully and talk some big words. The other challenge is that girls lacked enough training and coaching in the field, we were slow in passing the ball and we would also give up when beaten by the other team.
In conclusion we give all the glory to God because we never expected to reach the semi-finals and indeed it was God who enabled us to play well and keeping everyone safely since no one got any injuries and wounds and really God was Emmanuel on that day. And we are looking forward to doing better at regionals and glorifying God more in whatever things we do.
Facing the Giants: Basketball Regionals
By Joanna Bakimi, stand-in Biology/Chemistry Teacher at NHA
On the 10th of April, our New Hope Stallions (boys) and Mares (girls) went for the regional basketball tournament at Ssaku Secondary School. Much as the students love basketball, this was quite a challenging tournament. Both teams had very little training as this was the first term of the year with a lot of activities. Plus, they were having new coaches who we are so thankful for. This group of coaches included Julius Serwanja, Joshua Sekabembe and Jonathan Bakimi who are all former Stallions (and are soon joining university). We are so thankful for them giving their time and energy to their sisters and brothers. This was a new experience for them and for the students as well.
The reason I titled this as “facing the giants” is because both teams had only one tall player, and by tall I mean only 6’4”. The rest of the team members were either 5 feet or shorter than that and small as well. Most of the team members that had previously been on the teams have moved on to join college/university, so many of the players were new to the team. The teams we were facing, on the other hand, probably have a rule that you don’t join the team if you are shorter than 6 feet.
Our students finally qualified for the national tournament but only after facing those giants; losing against some and winning against others. We have another bigger race to run at the nationals and we will appreciate prayers for our teams for both provision but also a heart to run to the end and not fear what’s ahead of them. We want them to know that whether they win or lose it’s not about them it’s about God.
Thank you for your continued prayers for our sons and daughters as they prepare for the upcoming sports competitions!
Photos submitted by Sheilla Atukunda, Denis Mutaka,
Eric Andama, Jonathan Bakimi, and Esther Carey