The Kampala Kid’s League

The Kid's League

In 1998, after watching the number of spaces for kids to play begin to dwindle, Trevor Dudley and Leslie Mangnay decided to create a sort of after-school program for kids around Kampala. Dubbed ‘The Kid’s League’ (TKL), it’s aimed at bringing organized sports and mentorship to children who have no other access to such programs.

Since its inception, the TKL has helped over 15,000 kids from all different walks of life compete in football, mini-cricket, and basketball programs. Over the years they’ve had thousands of adults participating in coaching and organizational programs, and over a hundred corporate sponsors. Such support means the Kid’s League has made waves not only in Uganda, but overseas as well.

A number of tours through Europe have sent the best of the best from Kampala to the Gothia World Youth Cup and the Tivoli Cup. Various European football festivals have also seen these TKL players transformed into the Kampala Junior League, winning 15 international football tournaments. After one notable win, a visit by Prince Charles was made to Kampala, where he posed with the trophy and shot the football around with the players. Further, some TKL students have been offered positions in some of Europe’s most prestigious football academies.

The newest season of The Kid’s League started again on February 8th, with children from all around town working on footwork and drills. The A-League, a subset of the TKL was set up to give children with disabilities a chance to play sports and move around in safe and monitored outdoor environments. And the Totos, the group with the youngest of children, is minded over by volunteer parents and coaches, who work to expend these kids energy on the bright green fields at KISU.

The Big Kids League

Much to the delight of grown football lovers working and living in Kampala, the same organization has set up a program for adults. Men and women, of all levels of fitness, are welcome to join a football team and compete in local friendly matches. Various teams set up through 10 loosely affiliated nationalities including Germany, France, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Russia, UK, USA, EU, Italy and Belgium. These teams come together to play each other once a week, occasionally culminating in a tournament. Teams such as Belgium (currently with only one Belgian player) or the EU can be joined by all. However, it should come as no surprise that Dutch teams are mostly inhabited by the Dutchies, while the same can be said for the United States.

There’s a yearly fee to participate and the benefits go to supporting programs in the Kampala Kid’s League. Matches are usually held on Saturdays ranging from 9 am t 2 pm at ISU in Lubowa or at KISU in Bukoto. Times and team affiliation can and often are organized through their Facebook page. So if you find yourself with a little time on your hands, and feel like a good round of football will get your blood pumping, go sign up and support a good cause. Or if you have coaching and organizational skills within football, be sure to contact The Kids League, and help make this year its best ever.

Facebook: /

About Lizabeth Paulat

Hi, I’m Lizabeth, a freelance writer whose been stomping around Kampala for the better part of two years. I came here while pursuing a story and decided never to leave. I’m originally from Seattle and have found refuge in both the sun and the culture of Kampalans (plus I still get the rain when I’m feeling homesick).I’m always trying to unearth new and interesting stories about Kampala’s culture and development and am so exited to have an amazing platform to explore the city with. I hope to bring a bit of know-how and a bit of fun to Living in Kampala. Feel free to contact me any time at