What an amazing experience it was to be in the village last Saturday when the finals of the annual Suubi Sports Tournament was held. Now in its fifth year, the tournament is an event that everyone in the surrounding communities look forward to each year. With preliminary rounds of the football being held over the previous month, there had been a big build up to finals day. But it was not just the finals of the football that drew people to come and watch; the day was jammed packed with various events and activities that would interest all age groups.
The first event to kick off in the morning was the bicycling racing. Riders had come from near and far, some of which compete at a national level, to be part of the race. Thanks to wonderful support from Cycling Australia, each of the riders were presented with a jersey as they lined up on the starting line. It was quite a sight to see them all looking so professional as they took off on the course that would take them through many of the surrounding villages. This meant that even people who were unable to make it to Lubanda Village, where all other events were taking place, could be part of this exciting day. At many points along the course, the road was lined with people as they cheered the riders on.
The cycling boys were thrilled to receive jerseys from Cycling Australia as they lined up on the starting line.
The condition of the roads the boys were riding on made it much more challenging than than racing in Australia.
The finish line for the race was strategically placed at the site of the new Suubi Secondary and Vocational College. This of course meant many people saw the new classrooms and biogas toilets that are currently under construction there. The Suubi staff also took the opportunity to tell them all about how the school will operate when it opens for senior one students in 2015.
Once the riders had passed through the trading centre for the final time, people headed to the new Suubi Secondary & Vocational College site where the finish line was. As they waited, Elias took the opportunity to tell them all about the new school.
Bukenya Salongo crossed the finish line first after a long, hard fought battle with Muwange Kato, who wasn't far behind.
Tamale Asuman, from Lubanda Village, finished a very successful fourth. He was treated like a hero by everyone from the village who had come to cheer him along.
Sugarcane and pineapples were used to refuel the bodies of the exhausted riders.
With the race complete, details were taken of all place getters so they could receive their prizes later in the day.
Riders happily signed a jersey, to be sent to Cycling Australia, as a way of showing their appreciation for their support.
With the bicycle racing complete the action moved to the local football pitch. Matooke peeling and tug of war events created a great atmosphere as the crowd grew larger and larger as people gathered to watch the final of the netball and football.
The matooke peeling competition created lots of interest. It was judged by one of the local ladies; not necessarily the fastest, instead the person who had done the best job was awarded the winner.
Both the men's and women's tug of war created great excitement for everyone watching.
The standard of the teams that had entered, in both the netball and the football, had improved significantly this year. Instead of all coming from very close to Suubi Centre, as had been the case in earlier years, stronger teams from other surrounding villages and schools had chosen to participate after hearing about the success of the previous years tournaments.
Although the younger girls from St Mary's took out the final 20 - 8, Kilegiro Netball Club can certain be proud of the extremely high standard of the match that was played.
The girls from St Mary's Secondary College were thrilled to be the winners of the netball after entering for the first time this year.
By the time the football got underway thousands of people had gathered to cheer on their favourite team. The match between Kyasonko and St Mary's was a tight match from beginning to end. This meant a penalty shoot out was needed to separate the two teams after they finished 1 - 1 at full time.
St Mary's College FC (L) and Kyasonko FC (R) had fought hard for their place in the final. They were happy to salute the crowd after being presented to officials and guests.
Elias did a wonderful job of commentating, while at the same time passing on important information about the many things happening at Suubi and the new school - all from the top of the Delica!
The huge crowd enjoyed the tight match between the two very talented clubs.
Thousands of people streamed onto the pitch to celebrate after Kysonko eventually took out the shoot out 3 - 0.
Suubi Centre director, Ssemwogerere David, took the opportunity to talk everyone before the special guests handed out prizes at the end of the day.
Prizes like bicycles, goats and a cow for the winning football team are what help to attract such high standard participants. This in turn draws the huge crowds of people to watch throughout the event, especially on finals day.
So as you can see thousands of people, from all age groups, had a wonderful day as they enjoyed the various sports on offer, but also what a fabulous way to get all sorts of information out to so many people. In fact Suubi uses this event just like TV or radio; this year was ideal timing to promote the new school - brilliant!
A huge thank to the dedicated Suubi staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to make this event the huge success it is each year. Webale emirimu buli omu!