Eight teams of visually impaired soccer players will take to the field in the 2023 Blind Football Uganda Championship supported by Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) in partnership with Blind Football Uganda. The championship, which is part of celebrations to mark World Sight Day and International White Cane and Safety Day, seeks to empower people with disabilities, specifically those who are visually impaired.
The teams from Kampala, Gulu, Soroti, Kabale, and Kamuli will compete in the championship taking place at Ecole International French School, Kampala. CCBU, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, has made economic inclusion one of the pillars of its sustainability strategy, with a focus on empowering youth, women, and people with disabilities. The company’s economic inclusion framework seeks to support persons with disabilities with access to better opportunities.
Pearl Nimusiima, the CCBU Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability Director, said it was inspiring for the company to be part of an initiative that will go a long way in instilling confidence among young people. She said the Blind Football Uganda Championship provides an opportunity for the entire country to rally behind groups of people who need support to change their lives. “We have been challenged and feel proud that we chose to support this football championship,” she said.
In the last year, through its focus on people with disabilities, CCBU has trained people with hearing impairments to boost their business skills, trained women with disabilities to make sanitary towels to generate an income, and trained women with disabilities in Mukono and Buikwe to make briquettes.
Jagwe Muzafaru, the Founder of Blind Football Uganda, applauded CCBU for believing in an idea that seeks to promote the psychosocial well-being of persons with visual Impairments through sport, as well as fostering an environment that is conducive to creating opportunities for self-employment, sustainable enterprise development, and networking. He called upon other organizations and individuals to support the growing sport through sponsorship of the special balls with rattles, goggles, and eye patches among others which are crucial during the game.
“As we celebrate International White Cane Safety Day, we want to thank CCBU for celebrating our achievements and financing our aspirations with the view of elevating us into persons who are empowered and independent. We want to thank CCBU for enabling us to create a platform where we have showcased our potential, not only in football, but in other life spheres such as art, fashion, entertainment, and so many others,” he said.
Blind Football Uganda is a disabled sports organization that governs, promotes, and develops Blind Football in Uganda. It is affiliated with the Uganda Paralympic Committee, a member of the National Council of Sports.