By Thomas Odongo
Event: Africa Zone Series
Date: Sunday, 27th November 2022
Venue: Legends Grounds, Kampala (FREE ENTRY).
The American Football Federation of Uganda (AFFU) is set to host the 2022 Africa Zone Series on Sunday, 27th November at Legends Grounds in Kampala.
Hosting the event will be a major breakthrough in the development of American Football in Uganda for it’s the first main event to be played in the country.
Hosts Uganda will be up against Kenya in the full contact version while the other teams in the competition Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will engage in the flag championship.
While addressing the media at the event launch on Thursday at Legends Grounds, AFFU President Steven George Okeng said that the Kampala event is a build-up to the 2023 World Continental Championship.
“The winner between Kenya and Uganda will be among the four African countries representing Africa at next year’s World Continental Championship in Ireland,” Okeng said adding that he is happy that finally they get to host a major event at home.
“It’s a huge milestone for us, in the recent times we have been traveling so much to other countries and it hadn’t given us so much publicity about the development of the game back at home. We want to use this as a train to popularize the sport,” Okeng added.
Okeng adds that on that day (Sunday), they will be recruiting new players into the sport especially juniors as well as seeking to build their capacity by registering willing coaches, players and officials.
“We have a big American Football fraternity in the country including the fans who are big followers of NFL and the Superbowl itself. On Sunday we expect a good turnup because we have engaged them. Even the American community will be here to support the event. This is a social activity that will bring together all the American Football lovers including those who have just watched it on TV or even in movies,” Okeng added.
The choice of the venue is also perfect because sports fans always flock Legends Grounds on a daily for the facility has a sports bar which attracts fans of various sports disciplines.
Meanwhile, present at the press conference were representatives from the partners of the event, that is; American Chamber of Commerce of Uganda, Crowe (Audit firm) and Safe Boda. National Council of Sports (NCS) are partners as well.
American Chamber of Commerce was represented by Eva Zalwango who is their General Manager, Alex Bamwenda, an Audit manager at Crowe noted was present while Calvin Mukooli (Branding & Activations) represented Safe Boda.
Uganda American Football team captain Ken Rohan Kamanzi, quarter back, linebacker as well as running back and Rowan Keith who’s is a wide receiver also attended the presser, including officials from AFFU. The players are upbeat that they will put up a good show on home soil.
On Saturday, there will be an awareness match from Kampala Road to Naguru, a Kampala slum where some of Uganda’s best athletes grew up from. Young people will be sensitized about the sport that day.
The Africa Zone series is an American Football championship that started four years and Uganda is hosting for the first time.
After the Africa Zone Series, AFFU wants to ‘keep the fire burning’ by forming teams that comprise of players across the country and there after start a league.