September 7, 2011 (KAMPALA) – South Sudan secondary school teams won three silver medals at the Confederation of East Africa Secondary Schools tournament games held in Mbarara, Uganda.
South Sudan students took the silver medal for basketball boys and the high jump, in the tournament, which ran from August 28 to September
4. As well as newly-independent South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya,
Rwanda and Burundi took part.
Nine schools represented the Republic of South Sudan, which became independent in July 9 as part of a 2005 peace deal. The schools that took part were Bentiu Boys, Bor secondary, Kajo-Keji Girls, Malakal Boys, Mbii Girls, Rumbek Boys, Wau Comboni Girls, Wau Day and Yambio Girls.
Adel Sandrai, Western Equatoria state minister of education, who attended the event on behalf of the national ministry, told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that he is satisfied with the results.
“Our team did very well,” said minister Sandrai. “The teams’ progression to different stages...for the first time is encouraging,” he added.
This is the fourth time South Sudan has participated in the regional tournament but the first since independence and the first time they have registered major victories.
Minister Sandrai said that if the students train hard there was a good chance South Sudan could win a gold next year.
The minister called for an increase in funding for sporting activities so that facilities can be improved and expert coaches hired.
South Sudan’s Bentiu Boys lost to Kenya’s Laiser Hill in the basketball final by 67—80. Isaac Botarus came second in the high jump.
Sport could proof to be an important asset in nation building as South Sudan struggles to cope with its crippling under development and numerous tribal and political conflicts.
South Sudan is due to participate in the 10th All Africa Games, in Maputo, Mozambique from 3 - 18 September