Inside the 2024 Kid’s Athletics and Special Needs Championship as Acholi sub-region triumphs

The under-16 division was eliminated, leaving only the under-12 and under-14 divisions.

Kitgum: As per the Uganda Primary School Sports Association, the organizers of the 2024 National Kid Athletic and Special Needs Championship, which took place in Kitgum District from May 12 to May 19, the competition drew a large number of participants.

The championship successfully ended on Sunday night with the awarding of medals and trophies to the best participants.

It was anticipated that the competition would peak on May 22nd, 2024. More than 6,000 athletes from 162 district local governments, cities, and municipalities participated in the championship, which featured a variety of events including track and field competitions in the 60-meter spirit, 4-by- 1500-meter relay, 800-meter long jump, 16-five multiple jump javelin, shot put, discus, and high jump, among others.

Under the theme “World Mile Challenge,”  children in special needs divisions from at least 57 districts participated in the tournament.

Athlete classification changes

This year, the UPSSA modified its methodology for classifying participants into under-12, under-14, and under-16 groups. Previously, the child’s height and weight index were measured and used to establish the category to which the child belonged.

In contrast to this year, the athletes were categorized according to their affiliations by the organizers using data from the Learners Identification Number (LIN) and the Education Management Inflammation System (EMIS).

The under-16 division was eliminated, leaving only the under-12 and under-14 divisions.

“It’s not a good system,” teachers of games blamed UPSSA.

Many game teachers, however, had doubts about this new method that relies on the data entered into the database. They claimed that anyone may enter children’s ages incorrectly into the system, which allowed some dishonest districts to enter adults as champions.

SNE classification

Athletes were divided into three groups for the special needs schooling categories: intellectually challenged, physically impaired, and those with visual and hearing problems.

Formal opening

On May 16, 2024, Minister of States for Primary Education Dr. Moriku Joyce Kaduce officially opened the 2024 Kids Athletic and Special Needs Championship, stating that the government is dedicated to sports and talent identification. She disclosed that each district receives 40 million shillings per year from the government for sports and talent identification.

She divides the funds into two categories: talent identification with thirty million and capacity building with ten million.

Accepts EMIS

She urges the district education department to implement an Education Management Information System (EMIS), claiming that it facilitates timely resource allocation to all schools and accurate budget planning on the part of the government.

Automated results for this year’s championship

UPSS created an information management system that automatically displays the athletes’ scores in an orderly ranking order based on their performances whenever the athletes from a particular district total the points they received in any of the sports they played in.

The way this application functions, the districts with the most points would be at the top, and those with the fewest points would be at the bottom.

Official expulsion due to bias in officiating

Nevertheless, the UPSSA suspended a few officiating officers throughout the championship after it was discovered that they were providing the technical staff with incorrect marks. The technical team located and fixed the incorrect marks that appeared to have entered the system.

The results for 2024

On Sunday night, May 19, 2024, the Uganda Primary School Sports Association declared the Agago District as the overall winner of the 2024 Kid’s Athletic Championship and special needs. The under-14 group won, and Agago’s triumph came from their kids’ relative success in every category.

Overall, Agago was ranked first, with Omoro district coming in second and Kitgum municipality coming in third. In the special needs category, Kitgum district won; in the under-12 category, Terego district won; and in the category of children with hearing impairments, Gulu city won.


  1. Agago


  1. Kitgum
  2. Pader

5.Gulu district

  1. Kitgum municipality
  2. Lamwo
  3. Terego


10.Arua City

While Gulu City tailed from the Acholi sub-region after being placed in position 24 in the overall ranking.

Don’t eliminate the children that have qualified; Kitgum MP cautions UPSSA.

Oneklit Denis Amere, the MP for the Kitgum municipality, issued a caution, saying that none of the kids who had progressed to the next round should have had their names altered due to ethnic sentiments that, in his view, are hurting sports in Uganda.

Assurance to the Qualifiers

The children who have excelled and qualified for the next-level game have been given assurance by the UPSSA president that they will be brought to participate in it. “UPSSA 2023 joined the East Africa Sports Association’s Federation and has fulfilled the prerequisite for Ugandan primary school students to participate in international competitions by registering with the International School Sports Association,” said William Bwambale.

Kitgum residents cheered

Bwambwale commends the residents and district officials of Kitgum for their hospitality in preparing and providing the participants with necessities.

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Christopher Nyeko

Christopher Nyeko is multimedia solution based Journalist based in Northern Uganda with more focus on reporting about crosscutting issues ranging from Local, National and international. Contact/ WhatsApp 0774695010 Email Facebook: Bwona Chris P' Dona Twitter: Christopher Nyek Link-in: Christopher Nyeko.

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