St Julian High School Gayaza players celebrate with zonal trophy. They have been nearly men for years. Can they finally break the jinx?


In Kibuli S.S, the reigning East African champions, Kampala has a special representative with class and pedigree who has also won 11 titles to their name.

2023 USSSA Football Championship:

  • Host: Nyakasura School, Fort Portal – Kabarole
  • 7th to 20th May

It is barely week to the kick-off of the long awaited schools’ football world-cup in Uganda, the USSSA football championship.

For starters, 64 schools from the different corners of the country will all converge in Fort Portal city at Nyakasura school for a period of a fortnight.

Fort Portal city hosts the games once again since 2009 when St Leo’s Kyegobe successfully hosted the schools with Buddo S.S winning their first title back then.

There are several talking points to write home about in this championship that commenced as far back as 1986 (as the UTV cup).

Kololo S.S, the first champions in 1986 will not be in Fort Portal since they are not part of qualified schools from Kampala region cluster.

But, in Kibuli S.S, the reigning East African champions, Kampala has a special representative with class and pedigree who has also won 11 titles to their name.

Kibuli SS captain receives the trophy from USSSA president Emeritus Patrick Okanya at Mengo S.S playground in Kampala

Mengo S.S will be playing at the games for the very first time ever.

1999 and 2003 champions Old Kampala, Uganda Martyrs High School Lubaga as well as Kawempe Muslim S.S are other representatives from the capital city, Kampala.

Like Mengo S.S, Mityana S.S from Mpigi Zone will also be playing at the games for the very first time.

Royal Giants High School football team

These will be joined by the regional champions Royal Giant High School (Mityana) and Mpigi Mixed School.

For obvious reasons, Wakiso district based defending champions St Mary’s Kitende carry the favorites’ tag coming to the game.

St Mary’s Kitende players in a talk session during the 2023 Wakiso region football championships at Kisubi

Of course, having been beaten at the 2023 Wakiso region final by Buddo S.S, Kitende comes to the games a wounded lion of sorts.

St Mary’s Kitende has claimed 10 titles (since 2004 when they won their maiden trophy).

The other ambassadors from Wakiso region are Kawempe Royal College, Standard High School – Zzana, St Julian High School – Gayaza and London College Nansana.

Buddo S.S against St Mary’s Kitende during the 2023 Wakiso region finals at Kabaka Kyabaggu stadium

No school in the history of this tournament has lost more finals like Standard High School – Zzana.

Can they eventually rise up to the occasion, surpass the bare-minimum and lift the coveted trophy?

Host schools; Nyakasura, Fort Portal S.S, West Ville High School and St Mary’s Simbya are not easy to neglect.

Fort Portal S.S boys football team
West Ville High School Football team

Busoga region current champions Jinja Progressive Academy, 2017 champions Jinja S.S (qualified via a wild card invitation), Victoria High, Lake Side S.S and Jinja Comprehensive School will also compete.

As the TESO region continues to seek for their first trophy since the tournament inception, all eyes are on Nimrod Kintu’s coached Amus College Bukedea, Alwa S.S and TEPA.

Amus College School celebrates with the success as Teso zone boy’s football champions in Kumi district

From the West Nile region, Arua S.S, Alele S.S and St James S.S are in line to cause stirs.

The Acholi region representatives St Joseph’s College – Layibi, Patongo Seed School and rookies Rackoko S.S are ready.

From the nearby Lango zone, the trio of Dokolo Progressive Academy, Aki Bua Secondary School and Wisdom High School will compete.

Four schools from the Ankole region; Ryakasings CHE, Nganwa High School, St Augustine Minor Seminary and champions Kabwohe Muslim S.S will deliver their best at the tournament.

Kabwohe Muslim players celebrate with the fans

In the absence of the usual suspect Masaka S.S, the Masaka region has capable ambassadors in St Henry’s College – Kitovu, Africa with Love High School and Blessed Sacrament –Kimanya.

From Mukono zone, Mukono Kings High School, Layira Mixed and St Kalemba proved through the qualifiers that they can compete favorably.

It remains to be seen whether the gap between the much more exposed zones from the central part of the country and those like the Karamoja, Bukedi, Bugisu and North-East region will be finally closed up.

The draws will be held this Tuesday, 2nd May 2023 at the Copper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo, Kampala.

Previous Winners & Hosts since 1986:

  • 2022: St Mary’s Kitende (Host: Arua, Mvara S.S)
  • 2021: Not played due to COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 2020: Not played due to COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 2019: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Jinja, Jinja College)
  • 2018: Buddo S.S (Host: Mbarara, Mbarara High)
  • 2017: Jinja S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS)
  • 2016: Kibuli SS (Host: Soroti, Teso College Aloet)
  • 2015: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Hoima, Duhaga S.S)
  • 2014: Kibuli SS (Host: Gulu, St Joseph College, Layibi)
  • 2013: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Kabale, Kigezi College)
  • 2012: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Tororo, Rock High School)
  • 2011: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Arua, Mvara S.S)
  • 2010: Bishop Nankyama (Host: Masaka, St Henry’s Kitovu)
  • 2009: Buddo S.S (Host: Fort Portal, St Leo’s Kyegobe)
  • 2008: St Mary’s Kitende (Host: Arua, Mvara SS) *Started as Copa Coca Cola Cup
  • 2007: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Jinja, Jinja S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2006: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Masindi, Kabalega SS) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2005: Kibuli S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2004: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Mbarara – Ntare School) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2003: Old Kampala (Host: Lira, Lango College) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2002: Nagalama Islamic (Host: Soroti, Teso College, Aloet) * Coca Cola Cup
  • 2001: Ngabo Academy (Host: Kabale, Kabale S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2000: Kibuli S.S (Host: Mbale, Mbale S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1999: Old Kampala (Host: Masindi, Kabalega S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1998: Kibuli S.S (Host: Jinja, Jinja S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1997: St Leo’s Kyegobe (Host: Mbarara, Mbarara High) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1996: Kibuli S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS) *Started as Coca Cola Cup
  • 1995: Kibuli (Host: Mbale, Mbale SS) *NPP Cup
  • 1994: Lubiri S.S (Host: Lira, Lango College) *NPP Cup
  • 1993: Kibuli S.S (Host:  Mbarara, Ntare School) *NPP Cup
  • 1992: Kibuli SS (Host: Kampala, Kibuli SS) * UTV Cup
  • 1991: Kibuli S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1990: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1989: Kibuli S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1988: Kololo (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1987: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1986: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup

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

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  1. Thank you for the article, but the Lango region has Dokolo Progressive Secondary School and not Dokolo progressive Academy as you have reported.

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