David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports SMASK Captain Robert Kitabalwa hands over the trophy to Dr Lawrence Mulindwa

The Executive Director of St Mary’s SS Kitende, also the Honorary FUFA President and President of Vipers Sports Club, Lawrence Mulindwa loves winning and earning trophies.

Upon winning their 9th Copa Coca Cola football trophy, Mulindwa hinted on the component of early preparation as the leading factor to their success in Jinja.

As he hosted the players and officials at the school main hall on Sunday, Mulindwa danced with the players to the popular “Kyarenga” lyrics of musician cum politician Robert “Bobi Wine” Kyagulanyi.

He smiled ear and ear, and at times seemed short of words because of over-excitement.

Addressing the players and officials during the welcome party at the school on Sunday, Mulindwa also bragged how trophies belong to St Mary’s SS Kitende.

I welcome you all from Jinja and special thanks be to the Almighty Lord. We went for a very big mission. It was not easy but I had a lot of trust that you could do it. After the first two matches, everyone believed that we were contenders. I came in Jinja for a cause after the early basketball success in Mbale. We had early preparations after a disappointing performance in 2018 when we lost to a small school from Lira in Mbarara. We went back to the drawing board, did the recruitment in players and technical staff. The younger players also graduated to the senior team. There was harmony between the administration and technical bench such that we could speak the same language. The players were committed and focused on the cause. Trophies belong to St Mary’s SS Kitende. We could feel naked if we left Jinja without the trophy. We are now focused for the East African championship

Lawrence Mulindwa, Executive Director of St Mary’s SS Kitende
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Mulindwa dances with the players and officials at St Mary’s SS Kitende main hall (Photo: David Isabirye)
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Dr Lawrence Mulindwa hoists the 2019 Copa Football trophy aloft with the players during a welcome luncheon at the school on Sunday (Photo: David Isabirye)

St Mary’s SS Kitende beat Busoga region ambassadors Jinja SS 3-1 during the final that was also marred by violence from fans before tear gas canisters were fired to disperse the rowdy crowd.

Umar Kyebatala, Najib Yiga and Richard Basangwa scored the three goals for the victorious side in the final following Lawrence Tezikya’s opener.

Mulindwa also castigated the violence acts from the fans, strongly condemning the act that could scare away the sponsors and partners.

The tournament had progressed well until the last two games where fans started to throw stones and only tear gas fired by the anti-riot police saved the situation.

It is only in Uganda that when you play well, you become an enemy of the Cockroaches. The tournament had moved on well until the last two matches when the crowd disrupted the matches. As St Mary’s SS Kitende, we remained focused because we had a cause and mission

Lawrence Mulindwa
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Joseph Kasana covers a plastic chair over Mulindwa from the raining stones during the final against Jinja SS at the Kakindu Stadium in Jinja (Photo: David Isabirye)
Franklin Kaweru | Kawowo Sports Police fired tear gas into the Kakindu Stadium stands during the final to disperse away the rowdy fans who had started to throw missiles onto the field of play (Photo: David Isabirye)

Mulindwa also used the platform when he welcomed the team to appreciate schools that have done a commendable job of developing football from the grassroots.

In Uganda, schools have done everything. Since we do not have academies (the so-called academies we have are in quotes), schools have been at the forefront to prepare the players which are later used by clubs and the respective underage and senior national teams.

Lawrence Mulindwa
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Dr Lawrence Mulindwa hands over cash to the SMASK football team captain Robert Kitabalwa (Photo: David Isabirye)

Focus for St Mary’s SS Kitende, runners up Jinja SS and bronze winners Buddo will shift to the 2019 East Africa Secondary School games coming up in Arusha city, Tanzania.

Buddo is the defending champion in football boys and St Noa from Zana won the boy’s version.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports St Mary’s SS Kitende players and officials celebrate with their trophy on the podium (Photo: David Isabirye)

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