Kyambogo Rugby is gradually and steadily became a house name and it gives me a little sense of gratification which is not common in Uganda sports awfully when it comes to lower league sports. Last year in on June 3 I mentioned in a blog post during the 30 days blogging challenge by Afrobloggers something about my fondness of the game of rugby, “not sure if it’s a game or sport” will leave that to the connoisseur Zeno will clarify one day. Today I want to do an entirety write up about a rugby club I am proud to be part of. Before let me first time travel a little.
I was allowed to start playing rugby in 2007 at Greenhill Academy, it’s when mum sentiment it was kinda a bit safe for me to play. That year she let me do a lot of things that she was not for in the past like keeping an Afro. So I fell in love with the amusement, I remember South Africa winning the world cup in France beating up on the defending champions England that same year. And that same year the Rugby Cranes reached their extraordinary heights ever on the African continent.
I have played low key rugby since then, nonentity believes I play till they see me play. It’s not just a sport It’s a way of life for those who play. In Uganda rugby is an amateur sport but players are paid in one way or the other but I personally have opted to always take it on for no pay.
I have played in the lower league for four years now, a league cup called Uganda cup for three years which my club Kyambogo Rugby is no longer just showing up like the times against Buffalos Rugby Football Club and Heathens the most accomplished team in the country. Enough about me and let’s babble about the club in general.
Kyambogo happens to be known as an academic Center because it has a primary school, secondary which I attended for two years and a University where I also attained my Bachelor’s degree in Procurement and Logistics management. But over the years it has acted as a feeder channel for rugby players all over the East African region even without real structures. When I joined the University for 3 years their was talk of forming a rugby club or activate one the was on paper because it was already a member of the Uganda Rugby Union from 1998 not so sure of the time still, but it was not taking advantage of the status. In the third year when I was done with university, it started taking shape starting with an Uganda Cup game against Buffaloes Rugby Club which I didn’t play because I did make the team that day, this was in 2016. After that game clubs came knocking taking away players we went on to fall in almost all, I only remember a second-leg win against sailors where I played lock for the first time in a 15s game in our central league games. After the game against UCU on a Wednesday evening the next day everyone at work was inquiring if I was beaten up overnight.
From 2016 when the team got active we have been guided by a coach, a former National team player and one player who I think played for all Rugby fraternities in Uganda called Makmot Ivan in his playing days he was the flawless kicker. Coach Makmot is that guy who will give anyone a chance so long as you train. The assumed big guns have tried to still him from us but he is loyal to a bunch of players who seem hopeless some times. Sometimes we really suck or used to because the team has evolved over the last 4 years.
Every season players have moved on from the club even with a few games under their sashes and for many, it has substantiated to be a bad move for their pursuits, in the game. But the team has always withstood the divergences of players because of the big reservoir, I think over 200 players are associated with the team in the last 4 years. It’s always mystified as a University team but it’s a community team that explains why we have lawyers and medical doctors in the ranks when the programs are not even at the University. It also explains why every team in the Super 10 has a player from Kyambogo Rugby at the moment.
The clubs other times has been looked at as a collection of renegades to Uganda Rugby Union but it is just a collection of free-minded lads. It has cost the team but the resolve of the team prevails on every occasion. In my eyes, the fall to heathens rugby football club was the turning point. For Kyambogo Rugby. Everyone who is part of Kyambogo Rugby has been viewed as crazy for just deciding to be part of the legion but Ivan Semuwemba for putting in personal resources for the day to day functioning and building structures seems crazier, but for some the passion for the game is unlimited and he is beyond. Then there is Pastor Amos who has made sure for a while the lads have the best boots for the sport match in and match out. Lillian Nakitende is the one in charge of the team’s bureaucrat Public Relations to the outside world, she has the validities of what is happening and going to happen. Then the team’s most important asset is Zeno Othieno Owar is a sports academic or erudite making him a paper expert and he has played rugby at the height of Ugandan and East African layers making a weapon for the team. Yes that Zeno on the locker room and a few times made NBS TV trend when he is hosted to decipher rugby because his not your normal pundit. Like Coach Makmot someone is going to try to poach Zeno soon probably international brain drain thing when we get to the top league which has become probable in a short time.
Now that Kyambogo Rugby is seizing limelight a the rationales including hosting some of our games at the Graveyard the home of Impis Rugby Football Club which was inconceivable in Uganda rugby given the perceived rivalry which is only for the good of the sport since we have also managed to have our own in their statures making Kyambogo Rugby a real forces. For the first time in Ugandan rugby people have realized there is a second deck that feeds teams to the Super 10 because of a humble establishment from Banda hill. We are past the days of having only 16 players travel for a Uganda cup game against Jinja Hippos and we boost of rotating the whole starting 15 in three different games if you watched the Rhinos, Pacers and Impis games am sure you noticed three different games, no team in Ugandan rugby can attempt the fit and it’s only the tip of ice bag, I can’t let out any more. Sorry if you have questions then I can connect you to Lillian and Zeno.
Before CNN world Rugby comes to tell our story this is my bit, we are worth CNN.