Time immemorial, sports development particularly in general has always necessitated and called for good and early planning mechanisms.
It is upon this back ground therefore that specially planned programmes through the sporting schools of excellence, academies and feeder teams for senior clubs
Rich case studies like the ASEC Mimosa academy in Ivory Coast, the Nyahururu athletics training base in Kenya, the famous Real Madrid and Barcelona football academies in Europe and many others emit volume of good planning.
In Uganda, the Rays of Grace Football Academy located in Njeru town council, Buikwe District is one of the intended projects in the frame for some of aforementioned established academies.
Founded by businessman Roberts Kiwanuka in 2013 under the Rays of Grace Kindergarten and Junior School, the academy proper was established a year later with the purpose of offering a plat form for the youngsters to nurture their talents.
The whole set up was necessitated by additional funding from the Colorado Christian University with special help from Hoffman Family foundation.
Kiwanuka narrates the beginning of the school and the academy;
The beginning like it has always been in most cases was humble. We had a target to help the impoverished and vulnerable children in the community. We wanted to give light to the poor in the community with education and a plat form to play sports
Since 2014, the Rays of Grace School and sports academy has lured as many children with by offering full bursaries through the sponsorship scheme up to primary seven.
“We have been able to build net-works with sister institutions for secondary schools to help the children continue with education after primary seven” Kiwanuka adds.
Rays of Grace Junior School and the academy has attachments and links to Kisasi College, Blessed Sacrament Kimanya in Masaka as well as 2017 Copa football winners Jinja S.S.
Five year strategic Plan:
With a sports complex already in place at the school, there are bold plans to further develop the facility as well as build a secondary school for their own.
“We want to spread wings with a secondary school and that is our five year strategic plan” Kiwanuka adds.
The school has also embarked on a campaign to venture into the other sporting disciplines as handball, netball, woodball and basketball.
Administrative and Technical staff:
The administrative wing is well managed by the team manager Rogers Ssegawa who is assisted by Vincent Mawejje.
The coaching wing has Michael Kabali, Erimiah Kato, Sam Lwanga and the goal keeping tactician Isa Ssembusi as well as the trained team physio Dr. Kizito Ssekabirwa.
Raw talent is scouted by Farouk Galabuzi and Boban Ssesanga who are all working under the tried, tested and proven technical director Hamidu Kasozi.
Such rich administrative and technical departments manifest the seriousness of the entire project.
Rays of Grace Academy won the overall boy’s trophy in their maiden Airtel Rising Stars U-17 tournament held at Masaka Recreational Stadium, performing wonders to the surprise of many.
Immensely gifted players as Travis Mutyaba, Julius Kintu, Simon Mukasa and Isa Bugembe two promising youngsters that definitely spell a bright future for Uganda’s football.