Kampala Kids Olympics

by Ben Parkinson in Kampala, Kampala, Uganda

Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

We aim to inspire Ugandan children to become Olympians by enabling them to compete with the best of their age in the country

by Ben Parkinson in Kampala, Kampala, Uganda

Introduction and Background

In early 2018, Coach to Coach and Chrysalis started to work jointly on a project to develop children’s athletics in Uganda.  The reality was that Ugandan youth had the same capabilities as their Kenyan counterparts, yet their opportunities were much more limited to compete against each other on a national scale, this despite the role model function of Stephen Kiprotich and other inspiring athletes, such as Joshua Cheptegei.

Coach to Coach have been working with talented Kapchorwa-based athletes, including national junior champions for a number of years now, while Chrysalis Uganda has been supporting children’s athletics since 2012, hosting long distance runs and training and competing with local athletes at Kampala’s national stadium.  Both organisations want to provide a platform for grassroots talents to rise, talents that would otherwise have been left undiscovered, as infrastructure and programmes for these children are missing in most communities.

To boost talent development, Coach to Coach and Chrysalis  work together formally to develop some key children’s events  on the annual calendar.  The first event took place in May this year and was extremely successful.  Professionally-run by Coach to Coach, five teams from Northern, Central and Eastern Uganda came together in Kapchorwa to compete in a full range of track and field events.  The intention is that there will be five “Kids Olympics” events each year – North, West, Central and East, with the largest event taking place in Kampala in September each year.  This event should attract a variety of teams from all over Uganda and in September we propose to have 12 teams, with the event growing each year.

Chrysalis is a Ugandan NGO, which supports young people, who wish to make a difference in their lives.  They are based in Kampala and also have a rural centre in Gulu.  Their role in the project will be to host the Kampala event, to source the funds, to register the participating teams and safeguard all of the participants.

Coach to Coach is a social enterprise that helps children to develop self-esteem, talents and leadership skills, in and through sports.  Coach to Coach trains community sport coaches to bring up talents in sports like football and athletics.  Their role in the project is to provide coaching guidelines and trained athletics officials.

The Kampala Kids Olympics is part of a wider Kids Olympics Uganda 2019-2021 strategy, aiming to create a platform for future Ugandan Olympic champions by providing training to more children’s athletics coaches in Uganda, sourcing and providing athletics equipment to registered children’s clubs around the country, both in rural and urban areas, and centralising performance statistics for children that are registered with us.


The Kampala Kids Olympics event aims to:

  • Provide the best platform in Uganda for children to raise awareness of their abilities and talents in athletics
  • Create a growing mindset towards excellence, respect and friendship
  • Identify the best talents and connect them with school sponsorship, effective training and competition opportunities on a national and international level
  • Establish and cement a network of youth coaches and event officials to share and develop their knowledge and skills on talent identification and development, whilst instilling leadership skills through sports
  • Inspire children from all over Uganda to put aside tribal differences and enjoy each other’s company through the medium of sports in fun and professional-run activities

Event Details

The event will take place 11th – 13th September 2019 at a suitable athletics stadium in Kampala, possibly the National Stadium at Namboole, which is currently reserved for the event.  There will be two age bands:

Aged 8 to 11 – based on age on 13th September 2019, both boys and girls

Aged 12 to 15 – based on age on 13th September 2019, both boys and girls.

All children will need to be assessed for age ahead of the competition and registered by an independent official, to ensure fairness.  Birth certificates may be requested.

Each team should provide 24 children – six from each age/gender category.  No child can be entered for more than two track and two field events (relays excluded)

Track and field events

Times and measurements will be recorded for each event.  In the field events, participants will be allowed a maximum of three jumps or throws, subject to time availability.  The top 8 in each event will be allowed additional jumps/throws. 

Provisional teams

Kampala (Kireka)

Kampala International School

Kyadondo Rugby Club (Kampala)

Sebei (Kapchorwa) - Eastern Region 

Bududa Bulls - Eastern Region

Koro (Omoro) - Northern Region 

Pacer (Agago) - Northern Region

Otuke - Northern region

Lakwana - Northern Region

Kalongo - Northern Region

Masaka - Western Region 

We look to be including a minimum of six teams.  More will be added with stretch targets met.


There will be equipment prizes for each team participating, with cash prizes going to the Top 3 teams.  Individuals will receive a medal if they are in the gold, silver or bronze medal position in the event in which they participate.

We would hope that the event would attract some potential sports sponsors or people prepared to support some of the elite athletes for clothing or school sponsorship.

We would like to be able to support the participating medallists also with sports shoes and perhaps vests or other equipment, as a memento of the event.

Long-term Planning

The Kampala Kids’ Olympics will form part of the framework for the way we organize our training and competitions - the Long-Term Athlete Development model:

NB: To simplify  we consider the same age groups for boys and girls during the events.

Our trainings (= responsibility of the individual teams) and events target two age groups:

8-11 years           : focus is more fun and exploring various athletics disciplines

12-15 years        : more challenge on the physical (i.e. longer distances) and mental aspects (i.e. responsibility to prepare and coach your team) of sports

This means that we have ‘two events in one Kids Olympics event’!

Financial breakdown:

2-day event - 6 teams - Sebei, Koro, Kampala (Kireka), Bududa, Kampala International School, Mpigi (proposed) - 150 participants

Travel to Kampala (4 teams) and return - £2000 

Stadium Hire - £600

Acommodation for teams - £200

Food for teams while in Kampala - £1400

First Aid Provision - £150

Qualified officials - £1000

Equipment costs - £500

Water and glucose - £150

Banners and Posters - £50

Team prizes - £200

Medals - £150

Contingency - £500

TOTAL: £6900 less £450 raised by the Kapchorwa team = £6450

3-day event - 12 teams (as above) - 300 participants

Travel to Kampala and return - £4250

Stadium Hire - £900

Accommodation for teams - £600

Food for teams while in Kampala - £3250

First Aid Provision - £225

Qualified officials - £2000

Equipment costs - £500

Water and glucose - £500

Banners and Posters - £100

Team prizes - £200

Medals - £150

Contingency - £1000

TOTAL - £13675

Costs are subject to change and we will endeavour to also raise funds independently from this Crowdfunder, in order to elicit support from local businesses.  All teams have also been asked to raise money for their transport and accommodation, though we do not want this to be a barrier to their attendance at the event for this inaugural event.

Hence, if a lower figure is reached it may still be possible to put on the event, if other fundraising has been found. 

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