Courageous Lugalye taking the boys to a higher level

Courageous Lugalye taking the boys to a higher level

Courageous Lugalye taking the boys to a higher level

After retirement from active football in the women’s national team, Night Lugalye like many other retired sport personalities took to nurturing of young and fresh talents . This is how the Nakuru based Walkers youth academy came into being.

Lugalye had dedicated her life and sport skills to the women’s National football team “Starlettes” since 1994 but retirement came sooner than expected after she suffered an injury in 2000. However, this didn’t stop her from spending time in the field and after what seemed like eternity to her, she returned to the pitch in 2005 but this time round as a coach.

Initially she had decided to work with the girls but they were stagnant in growth and practice and eventually Lugalye opted to coach the boys.This was a slight challenge though; the Walk team didn’t have a boys’ team by then.

A team of 20 boys training at the Afraha stadium the home of the 2010 KPL champions Ulinzi Stars drew her attention and that was how the Walkers youth Academy was born. Today the team has grown from 20 young players to 300, all in different football structures ranging from U-11 to U-23.

It’s amazing how the teams are mostly coached and managed by women in a professional manner. Lugalye is in charge of the U-23 squad while her fellow mate Asha Omar who also had her time in the national team coaches the U-11 which is newly formed and U-14.

However, the academy has had its fair share of challenges. According to Lugalye, lack of financial support and training equipment tops the list of challenges that they have to encounter in most cases.

“We have very committed players who are willing to take their skills to a higher level but are challenged due to lack of funds. The boys also lack adequate training equipment such as soccer balls, boots, shin guards and uniform,” explains Lugalye.

Despite the hurdle,the academy has something to smile about. After participating in the prize contest that was conducted by Michezo Afrika a while ago on our fans facebook page, Walkers Youth Academy won themselves shin guards suitable for the U-14 team.The fans on the page nominated and voted for those they think are making an impact in the community.

“This will indeed be a huge surprise for the boys and will encourage them to continue exploiting their talents. This is a clear indication that some one out there is watching and something good out of it will surely manifest itself,” added the lady coach.

Currently, the U-23 team is participating in the District league first leg 2011 which kicked off in May. The team is performing under the leadership of Coach Agrey Demesi and Coach Night Lugalye.

 U-14 and U-12 are also taking part in the ongoing league and friendly matches also under the leadership of coaches Night Lugalya and Asha Omar.

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