Why We’re Excited about Shoes

Sports and physical activity are an important part of what goes on each afternoon at Kingsway Christian High School. Some of the benefits of physical exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

    • combats health conditions and diseases
    • improves mood
    • boosts energy
    • promotes better sleep
    A volleyball game (note – kids are playing in flip-flops)

    All sports require some type of equipment which prevents injury and improves performance. But Kingsway has no budget for sports equipment, and they have a policy of not spending donations on sports when other needs are more critical, like books, medicine and even food. (Just a couple of years ago, Kingsway could only serve one meal a day for lack of money.)

    Yet sports are universally adored in Uganda, especially soccer (football). So alumni and local friends who want Kingsway to be able to play against other schools have donated uniforms.

    But very few students come to school owning sports shoes. Instead they play in flip-flops, sandals or crocs, or even barefoot resulting in stubbed toes, bruises, cuts and abrasions.

    In the fall of 2023, the board was made aware of the need for soccer shoes and other equipment. One of our board members asked various groups in town for donations. After a long and nearly fruitless campaign, she finally discovered a local organization called Cleats for Kids that collects used soccer equipment for charitable causes. They donated two large tubs of shoes and shin guards that cost approximately $1,400.00 originally. Hooray!

    Milly was in Michigan last October, and was able to bring the equipment back to Uganda with her, much to the delight of everyone at school. American shoes are of a much better quality than anything available in Uganda. They are durable and will be used by students in future years too.

    Students trying on their new soccer shoes

    Currently, Kingsway is also working on constructing a basketball court so they will have the option of playing basketball too. Since the school has no money to spend, the students themselves are doing the heavy work of digging the base and leveling the ground.

    Why This is Important

    Kingsway’s long-term desire is to be self-sustaining, to have a body of paying students whose tuition supports needy students who attend for free. Right now that goal is somewhat far off, because very few students pay full tuition.

    Because sports are so popular in Uganda, having a good sports program is very useful for attracting paying students. In-kind donations like durable shoes and long-lasting equipment brings them closer to that goal.

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