There were shocks and surprises at the 2022 Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association (FEASSSA) games held in Arusha, Tanzania.
Returning after a two-year break following the Covid-19 pandemic, the showpiece christened the mini Olympic lived up to its billing as over 2500 students from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania converged to battle for top honours in various sports disciplines. The highlight of this year’s championship was when the President of the International Schools Sports Federation (ISF) Laurent Petrynka graced the games.
Petrynka was impressed with the games saying it was the biggest and not even ISF events could match the East Africa games. He added that ISF will consider having a tournament for East Africa students as well as the region hosting some ISF events.
“I’m impressed with the organization of the games and the high number of students participating in the games, no ISF event has ever been this big,” he said.
Kenyan boys and girls once again played second fiddle as Uganda dominated the regional showpiece to retain the overall trophy they had won in 2019 at the same venue. Uganda won 41 medals 18 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze.
Kenya was second with 20 medals five gold, 12 silver and three bronze. Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association Secretary David Ngugi said that Kenyan students had challenges preparing for the games but they will bounce back and reclaim the title they last won in 2018
“Our students did well under these circumstances, the Covid-19 pandemic, a crammed academic calendar and breaks in between had a negative impact on their performance. We have very many talented players and I believe that they will excel in next year’s games,” Ngugi said.
He added that Kenya will now shift its focus to the 2023 games to be held in Bujumbura, Burundi with Rwanda being a standby host.
FEASSSA president Justus Mugisha also announced that girls rugby 7s competition will be introduced in next year’s games. Kenya triumphed in athletics, volleyball as Kwanthanze and Cheptil mixed schools won both the girls and boys titles. Kenya also excelled in swimming and racquet games.
Highway High School, Dr Aggrey and Kesogon Mixed Secondary schools were the surprise package of the tournament as they made it the finals on their debut.
Highway fell football giants St Mary’s Kitende in the semis to book a final date with another Ugandan side Kibuli Secondary School.