Parents and children in Uganda enjoy playing together!

Sports tournament, Kabale Uganda.

All 200 children were smartly dressed in their sky blue and white school uniform except for children who participated in the Kick-off camps that came donned in their Join for Joy t-shirts. By 9:00am the children were already at the playground and parents started flocking in too. All parents were invited. Not many could make it but the presence of a few who managed to turn up made the day more colorful!

The games played were selected from the three main themes of the games manual; Teamplay, Personal Development and Future Perspective, all with the intention of inculcating awareness of the life skills that children need in their day to day lives and thus being able to deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

The goal of the tournament was not in the scores. Instead, it was meant for the parents and children to have fun and to play together. The objective of the main coordinator of the Sports Day, Teacher Moses, was to help to cement the bonding between the parents and children while enhancing the cognitive, social and communication skills.

Other objectives of the day were;

  • Everybody having fun.
  • To learn about the extra joy that competition can bring to a game.
  • To build positive associations with outdoor games and competition for the children and teachers.
  • To experience some feelings of team spirit and the value of supporting and appreciating the skills of all competitors.
  • To let parents participate and appreciate the importance of sports in day to day life.

4 different games were selected for the tournament; dodgeball, end of the line, catch the ribbon and stop the music.

Four groups of 30 children were formed and each group had two teams consisting 15 children for each team and all teams balanced according to gender and age. At 10:30am, on the blow of the whistle, all the games started at the same time. 10 minutes were allocated for explanation of the game and demonstration, 30 minutes for playing and 5 minutes for evaluation of the game, and then children were directed by caritas staff to another game. 02 teachers remained stationed at the field of each particular game for guidance on the game. At the end of two games, children were allowed 30 minutes of resting and refreshments before resuming play.

By 3:00pm the tournament was over and was crowned with prize giving in appreciation for their participation. Similarly, all children received a book and a pen each for their team being the best in one of the games played. It was a moment of joy for us, teachers and the parents to see the happiness and all the deafening shouts of victory whenever one of the teams was announced to have been the best in a particular game and being called upon to receive their prizes. The teachers were encouraged to try and organize such an event at least every year or term since they already have a good playground near their school. The head teacher was very happy with Join for Joy Sports and play program and the variety of games the children were taught and are enjoying.

Hilda Mbabazi, Sports and play coordinator Join for Joy Uganda.


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