MTN Naguru social sports academy group photo of players and coaches


MTN Naguru Social Sports Academy is perfecting every basics right to ensure that right sporting cultures are inculcated among the players right at a very young ripe age.

The development of a complete professional footballer is a grueling process that necessitates technical expertise, unrivalled financial support, patience, diligence from various parties at hand; players, coaches as well as other partners.

Successful footballers surpass the bare minimum with a little extra hard work in vigorous training regimes, strict discipline on and off the field of play, right diety (nutrition) and seldom, sheer luck.

The fast rising MTN Naguru Social Sports Academy is inclined on a mission possible to produce the next big product of Uganda’s football.

Dribbling the ball at the MTN Naguru social sports academy under the close supervision of a coach

This will vividly follow in the foot-steps of the great legendary striker Majidu “Magic” Musisi Ssemakula whose record transfer from the Turkish top-flight club Bursaspor to Çanakkale Dardanelspor for UGX 1.8 billion ($1 million) remains a far-fetched record in the transfer market for the most expensive Uganda football import.

It is upon that rich background that MTN Naguru Social Sports Academy is perfecting every basics right to ensure that right sporting cultures are inculcated among the players right at a very young ripe age.

Therefore, identifying the right partners as the Xcalibur Foundation, MTN Uganda, the Real Madrid Foundation (strategic partner) and Youth Sport Uganda (local implementer), the Naguru Social Sports Academy is on a realistic mission possible.

Following nine months of project implementation of the MTN Naguru Social Sports Academy program, a mega opening ceremony is planned on Thursday, 16th March, 2023 in Naguru, a known hub of sports talents ranging from football, cricket, tennis, badminton, boxing to athletics.

This will also usher in a new school year, and strengthen the collaboration and relationship between the different stakeholders, MTN Uganda, parents, community and teachers in the school.

Training at MTN Naguru social sports academy

Before the launch (Wednesday, 15th March 2023), there is a planned coaching clinic by coaches from the Real Madrid Foundation.

This event is a very special occasion for us, as we celebrate the second year of this project, which involves 166 wonderful boys and girls, who are proving every day their learning on the most important part of our mission, which is to educate them and train them to be better people. We have the best team of collaborators, who work every day to make this possible, especially MTN Uganda, Youth Sports Uganda and the local team of the Xcalibur Foundation.

Javier Lezcano, Executive Director at Xcalibur Foundation
A child expertly passes the ball at the MTN Naguru social sports academy

For starters, Xcalibur Foundation (officially Fundación Xcalibur) is a non-profit organization started in April 2021.

It was initiated to develop social and cooperation projects in countries where Xcalibur Multiphysics (the parent company) is present.

The Foundation’s mission is to boost lifelong education and training of vulnerable children, youth, and women, using the value and power of sport, culture, and training, as pedagogical and motivational tools.

The social sports academies are the leading project of the Real Madrid Foundation around the world with a mission to motivate, promote education values and educate children ages 6-16 years through football.

The MTN Naguru social sports academy in Uganda is based at Naguru Katali primary school with at least two sessions of 1 and a half hours per week.

They execute basic football training sessions focusing on different values each month.

Training at MTN Naguru social sports academy. The children are taught the basic skills of the beautiful game and values as teamwork, hard work and mutual respect

Among the objectives at hand entail conveying using games and sport, educational values and life skills like teamwork, respect, self-esteem, equality, motivation and autonomy, developing basic football technical skills through exercises, games, tactics; contributing to the psycho-social-emotional well-being by addressing issues such as health, nutrition, relationships, personal hygiene, etc.

Instant rewards:

Through this project, the different participants have drastically improved their football skills as close ball control, distribution (passing), dribbling, heading the ball, shooting and scoring to find the back of the net.

A ball dribbling session at the MTN Naguru social sports academy
Ball dribbling session at MTN Naguru social and sports academy

They have able to apply educational values at school, at home, in class, and in their day-to-day relationships.

At present, they attend more classes and show less signs of anxiety and/or depression.

Health wise, the daily water and snacks provided have help to keep them nourished.

By and large, the project is envisaged as a key potential to unearth, develop and make up talented future Ugandan footballers in the tomorrow years.

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

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