Football is the most popular game on the Universe and has been a unifying factor for many people from different walks of life, it is the only activity that brought nemesis USA and North Korea to play on the same field (World Cup France’ 98) despite the animosity between the two nations.
Having arrived in the summer of 2000, the early Ugandan immigrants into Canada, life was such a bore, frustrating and disturbing brought about the transitional process and the new culture.
They needed something that would give them a relief, integration and oneness.
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An idea came up and it was not hard to come by, basing on the facilities in Canada unlike at home were first class and by the fact that some of them were old friends from the school days, others had played together at different clubs in the outskirts of Kampala.
“As Immigrants, it helped us integrate into Canadian society especially the teenagers who had a feeling of displacement and no activity of keeping busy. We were provided with another option for life”.
“We have individuals that operate on volunteer basis, a team manager , a coach and a complete technical department”. We foster a great deal of respect for each other”. Jeff Evans Kizito says
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Among the founding members of the team is Fred Kinene, Henry Yiga, Robert Ssemakula, Duncan Tumwine, Kojja Kityo and Jeff Kizito Innocent Karuhanga
Another great pillar who have worked tirelessly for the structuring of the team is Mwiine Mark. The two full Jerseys, cons and ball donations can’t be overlooked.
St. Claire and Lansdowne grounds have served as the team’s home ground and it’s mainly where they meet for training and bonding.
It has not always been a smooth sail for the Cranes having been run as a not for profit group that has no defined source of funding.
They rely mainly on volunteers who pool funds to meet the team’s budgets for participation in various tournaments. Mr Ssewaya provided the team’s first ever Jersey which opened the floodgates for more donations to the cause.
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” Going forward, we would like to develop talents of the youths so that they can be able to attain post secondary education scholarships through playing football.” Kizito adds.
Currently, the team takes part in Inter community tournaments as well as 1st July competition organized by Dominion church international for the last four years.
Uganda Cranes Canada have battled with almost every community with the latest being Gambian Community. Other communities include the Somali community, The Jamaican community, The Ghanaian community among others.
Mr.Karuhanga Innocent, the inaugural captain of the over 40 man team can’t hide his pride and happiness about progress.
” I am exceedingly overjoyed by the steps taken by our team, what started as a leisure activity is beginning to yield products”
“Our kids will be the biggest beneficiaries of this project, we move on pillars of oneness and harmony. We shall not look back”.
The man to whom Karuhanga handed the mantle, Shafiq Najib the current captain is more than thankful to the pioneers of the project for having been visionary.
” They did a commendable job in laying a foundation for us all. We are realy so grateful to them and we hope to continue building on what they started.”
“The first step is always difficult but they were courageous to see the project being born, guided it and they still do support financially, morally and spiritually. “ Najib states
Currently, members carry out personal training at home and also meet during Saturday and Sunday for a combined training sessions.