Some of the players and officials in a group photo during the official launch of Soccer For Life Foundation Academy in Tororo


Soccer For Life Foundation had a humble beginning way back in 2015 started by Jessy Lukoki.

Soccer For Life Foundation Academy has spread its drastic wings to Tororo Municipality and Eastern Uganda in general.

On Monday, 1st May 2023, there was a maiden training session conducted at the memorial King George IV stadium in Tororo, overlooking the gigantic Tororo rock

The training was conducted by head coach Jessy Lukoki and a team of volunteer coaches including some from Germany.

“We have officially launched the Soccer for Life Foundation branch in Tororo. This will be used as a springboard to reach out to the other parts of Eastern Uganda” Lukoki revealed.

Coach Jessy Lukoki talks to junior players at Soccer For Life Foundation in Tororo

For starters, Soccer For Life Foundation had a humble beginning way back in 2015 started by Lukoki.

The Foundation initially commenced as the Soccer For Social Life (SSL) project which later changed to Soccer For Life Foundation.

Coach Jessy Lukoki talks to junior players at Soccer For Life Foundation in Tororo

Back then, Lukok was still a student at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) in Nakawa.

At MUBS, he was part of the university football team but had special adoration for kids within the Nakawa community who who would cheer him and the teammates in the university.

“Back then, I decided to gather the children and train them though I was not yet a coach. I had passion and used to do what coach Charles Ayiekoh trained us at MUBS”

The project spanned out with a single old ball used by 10 boys in an open space near Spear (opposite MTAC) in Nakawa.

“I got one old ball from the MUBS sports store that I used to train the kids during my free time on Saturday morning at spear opposite MTAC where our field was which is now the current car bond of future investment company.” He boldly recalls.

With 10 kids, the number later grew to 30 and beyond.

Today, there are over 150 children in the different age categories of U7, U9, U11, U13, U15 and U17.

Ball work session for players at King George Memoral Stadium, Tororo
A volunteer coach watches the players in training at King George stadium Tororo

Community change:

According to Lukoki, the main purpose of this initiative was to help the kids in the community develop their football talents and change lives as well.

The project was to change the lives of kids in communities. Also, to develop their talents in football and enhance their education since Nakawa had many kids who used not to go to school but could only work in the market. This touched me to see young kids instead of accessing school they are working in the market carrying items and luggage so I wanted to change their lives through soccer.” Soccer For Life Foundation is a project with an innovative and exciting approach to establish successful sports discipline teams in different age categories both boys and girls, guide and empowering youth for development and peace.

Jessy Lukoki, Soccer For Life Foundation Founder

To be a leading soccer foundation for excellency and guidance in Uganda through increasing the number of youth athletes participating in organized youth tournaments.

Soccer For Life Foundation Vision

Equip youth with skills to enhance their talents and the future.

Soccer for Life Foundation Mission

We develop for the future.

Soccer For Life Foundation Motto

Success stories:

What started small eventually developed into a serious talent hub where a number of players have established themselves into the country’s top tiers as FUFA Big League and Uganda Premier League.

Isaac Mweru Doka, formerly at Express and MYDA is now playing top fight football at Busoga United Football Club in Jinja city.

A big number of players are in the different U-17 Junior teams.

“Financial resources permitting, in the coming next season, our aim is to participate in the FUFA Junior League since we have lost many players in this way of not participating”

Financial constraints aside, the academy faces the challenge of enough equipment and playing facilities.

“Many of our playing areas have been taken up by business people who construct shopping malls, arcades and also hotels leaving us with no areas to play from. This has created more problems in youth turning into thieves, thugs and school drop-outs since what would keep them together and busy would be soccer but due to no playing fields it becomes hard for them to gather and have the sport. Good equipment would be another factor affecting our development since most of kids come from poor families who cannot even afford school fees so can’t even afford registration and training kits.” he hints.

Future prospects:

Every project has bright future aspirations in pipeline and so does Soccer for Life Foundation.

Ranking aloft is attaining bigger space for their own ground with a home and a school to front education of the children.

“The future plan is to have a big space to cater for the pitch and home for these kids also have school nearby so that they can access education.” Lukoki dreams.

At the moment, Lukoki is also pursuing and practicing his coaching credentials as the head coach of Tororo based Admin Football Club, a regional (third tier) entity club in Eastern Uganda.

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

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