Ronald Alonso engages the players at Lion Sports Academy in healthy talk session

The Lion Sports Academy is situated in Ntungamo district, Western Uganda, about 333 KM from the capital city – Kampala.

It was founded on 5th March 2018 by a football enthusiast, Ronald Alonso Nuwasiima.

Under two years since inception, there are great and majestic strides moved with incredible fruits to proudly show off.

From 20 kids, the academy has now swollen to a population of 210 children.

Lions Sports Academy players in a competitive match
Lion Sports Academy founder and CEO Ronald Alonso Niwasima
The official logo of the Lion Sports Academy

They have participated in a number of tournaments winning a number of them, earned bursaries to some and have managed to export three players outside the boarder lines of Uganda to three different countries in Canada, Ghana and Egypt.

Jordan Amanya (Canada), Davis Kakaire (Ghana) and Male Kaharabe (Egypt) are the players who got invitations.

Some of the Lion Sports Academy players with CEO, Ronald Alonso (Extreme right)

The developmental pathway has also witnessed the academy lure key partners on board as Digitech Solutions Hub, Owino.net (Supply Chain Network), The Youth hub Uganda, Hotel Trendyz Ntungamo and Ibanda based The Smith Soccer Foundation.

Uncharacteristic of many budding sports academies, Lion Sports Academy has a functional website, www.thelionsportsacademy.com.

The Lion Sports Academy owes its foundation to Nuwasiima’s passion for youth football.

“I serve the game because it is what I think that I should be doing. It is now beyond my passion especially seeing young kids play good football and progressing” Nuwasiima confesses to Kawowo Sports.

The Lion Sports Academy players

Key Objectives:

Ranking a loft the key objectives of Lion Sports Academy included provision of a plat form to tap and nurture raw talents from the grass root from deep villages,  use soccer as a vehicle for social change among the youth in the communities as well as helping the football body organs (FUFA,CAF and FIFA) in fulfilling their objectives of developing talents from scratch.

Some of the players at Lion Soccer Academy, Ntunagmo

Positives

The project has so far supported over 60 youth who are in schools for free education services at both levels of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions because of their talents.

Most of these children had dropped from schools because of lack for fees and materials given their impoverished backgrounds.

Lion Sports Academy has partnered with schools as; Ducks and Doves Kampala, Citizens Primary school Kampala, Ryakasinga CHE (Sheema),  St. Jude Secondary School,  Masaka,  Royal Giants SS (Mityana),  Green Valley Junior school and Njeru based Rays of Grace Junior school.

The academy project has exposed talents to many parts of the country in the two year’s existence.

Excited players of Lion Sports Academy

It is from these tournaments where Lion Sports Academy has attended that many agents start following the players hence opportunities to these young talents.

Also, Ntungamo as a community has been recognized because of Lion Sports Academy.

Main stream business has blossomed during Lions holiday programs and tournaments that bring in more than 1000 people in the area.

Every year, the Talent Soccer Tournament is held and the people attracted purchase food items, use accommodation facilities, transport and this is direct benefit.

Lion Sports Academy players in pre-match customs prior to an Airtel U-17 Rising Stars match

Challenges

Like most sports academies in the country and via the East African region, all the challenges are cris-crossed.

They range from shortage of training facilities and equipment given the swelling number of children joining the academy especially during the holiday training sessions.

“With the ever increasing number of kids per holiday trainings,  it is still a challenge that we need to survive on donations and mercy of some individual pockets.” Nuwasiima cries out.

Also, the academy faces transport challenges especially when traveling to distant places for soccer camps and tournaments.

We have a challenge of transport means. It takes contributions from people in town which limits to going to far events that would promote and expose their parents due to finance.” He adds.

To date, the academy boosts of 210 children aged 3 to 17 years old.

This is a drastic rise from the original 20 children as of May 2018.

Ronald Alonso Niwasiima with a media personnel and one of the junior players

Events attended thus far:

Lion Sports Club championed the U-14 catergory in the Soccer Impact Tournament, Ibanda.

They finished as runners up in the U-17 tournament.

Lion Sports Academy graced the 9th edition of the annual Entebbe Christmas Netball and Soccer Holiday Soccer Camp held at Nkumba Kataka and Nkumba University play grounds.

In the U-9 Catergory, they were quarter-finalists as well as losing finalists in the U-13 and U-15 events.

They triumphed in the U-13 catergory of the Talent Soccer Tournament in Ntungamo and the U-14 section of the Western Talent Search in Ntungamo

They also took part in the 2018 Airtel Rising Stars 2018 regionals played in Bushenyi, coming second in the U-17 boy’s tournament.

Felix Baker Twesiime, the Lions Sports Academy Ambassador

Management:

Ronald Alonso Niwamusima is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Assy Abireebe (Chairman), Phillip Ankwatsa (Vice Chairman), Brian Flamingo Muhumuza (General Secretary), Emmanuel Tumwbaze (Treasurer), Emmanuel Arinaitwe (Public Relations Officer), Loyce Matsiko (Coordinator), Jovilet “Mamma Isaac” Mugisha (Parents chairperson), Hamudani Sande (Advisor) and Baker Felix Twesiime (Chief ambassador).

Phillip Ankwatsa, the vice Lion Sport Academy
Emmanuel Tumwebaze, Lion Sports Academy Treasurer
Emmanuel Arinaitwe, Public Relations Officer of_Lion Sports Academy
Sands Hamudani is the Lion Sports Academy Adviser

Trial stints:

Given their two year spell, Lion Sports Academy has managed to send in three players to the diaspora for trials.

Davis Kakaire traveled to Ghana, Jordan Amanya (Canada) and Male Kaharabe to Egypt.

Jordan Amanya
Happiness Atwiine Junior is one of the promising youngsters at Lions Sports Academy

Partners:

Digitech Solutions Hub will soon be unveiled as the official sponsor. Other supportive partners include the parents and guardians of the children, Owino.net (Supply Chain Network), The Youth hub Uganda, Hotel Trendyz Ntungamo as well as The Smith Soccer Foundation Ibanda.

Parents are part and parcel of this project

Achievements:

  • Champion: U-14 Soccer Impact Tournament, Ibanda
  • Champion: U-13 Talent Soccer Tournament, Ntungamo
  • Champion: U-14 Western Talent Search, Ntungamo
  • Runners up:  2018 Airtel Rising Stars (U-17 Boys) 2018 regionals, Bushenyi,
  • Runners up: U-13, U-15 9th Entebbe Christmas Netball and Soccer Holiday Camp, Nkumba
  • Quarter-finalists: U-9 9th Entebbe Christmas Netball and Soccer Holiday Camp

Management:

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Ronald Alonso Niwamusima
  • Chairman: Assy Abireebe
  • Vice Chairman: Phillip Ankwatsa
  • General Secretary: Brian Flamingo Muhumuza
  • Treasurer: Emmanuel Tumwbaze
  • Public Relations Officer (PRO): Emmanuel Arinaitwe
  • Coordinator: Loyce Matsiko
  • Parents’ Chairperson: Jovilet “Mamma Isaac” Mugisha
  • Advisor: Hamudani Sande
  • Chief Ambassador: Baker Felix Twesiime

Key Contacts:

  • Website: www.thelionsportsacademy.com
  • Emails: thelionsportsacademy@gmail.com & ronaldalonso1414@gmail.com
  • Telephone numbers: +256789607578 & +256702828698
  • Facebook: The Lion Sports academy Ntungamo
Ronald Alonso engages the players at Lion Sports Academy in healthy talk session
Lions Sports Academy players as they pose for a group photo at Nkumba Kataka play ground

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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