ETCP KABALE YOUTH FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
Ever since ETCP was founded, football has had a central role in our work. The children already had a huge interest for the sport and it quickly became an important tool for us. It is an excellent way of releasing energy and reducing stress, it builds team spirit and you learn the importance of joint efforts, how to handle setbacks and to respect coaches, referees and fellow players. All of these are important components in life that children with a history on the street might never have had or been without for a long time.
After having established a team and they started training seriously, the children began to request to play matches. Initially they had many friendly games against other teams in Kabale. They also participated in some competitive games and smaller tournaments, they were however often surrounded by many challenges. Being on the side-line for a long time observing we decided to arrange our own tournament and 2013 the first edition of ETCP Kabale Youth Football Tournament was held. Back then we had around 300 players, this year there were close to 1000 participants.
Arranging the tournament in January is not a coincidence. Several of our kids have narrated that their first encounter with street life was during the long Christmas holiday that occurs every year. To hold a big event free of charge and available for anyone who is interested during that specific period, we believe can prevent children at risk ending up in the wrong company.
The tournament has also played a part in girls discovering the sport and their participation is now, unlike before, much more accepted.
Finally we are of course as well glad to have become a platform for young talents. Every year a number of participants are offered scholarships to schools around the contry and some of the players in the Ugandan super league actually started their careers in ETCP Kabale Youth Football Tournament.