14 January 2003

Uganda: Veteran Administrator Kakooza, 91, Dead

Kampala — Once again death has struck a brutal blow against Uganda's sports fraternity. This time around, it has robbed the country of its greatest sports administrator of all times - the Rev. Canon Polycarp Kibuuka Kakooza.

Summoned by his creator on Sunday January l2 January 2003, Rev, Kakooza had clocked 90 years late last year.

Kakooza's rare qualities as a sports administrator developed against the backdrop of having been a successful sportsman.

He had the unique ability of combining football and athletics in his catalogue of sports exploits at national level.

That special ability enabled him to represent Uganda in various competitions both on the athletics track and the soccer pitch.

When he graduated into sports administration, Kakooza wore several hats. At one time he was secretary general of the Uganda Football Association (UFA, now FUFA) and at another, he was secretary general of the Uganda Amateur Athletic Association (UAAA).

There was a time when he was general secretary of both UFA and UAAA.

But in the deep sea of Kakooza's achievements in the sports field, that is only the tip of an iceberg. Apart from being a qualified football coach, he was a first class referee and the first Ugandan to be commissioned a referees instructor by the World's football governing body, FIFA.

He was also qualified as an athletics coach and a track and field judge.

While attending coaching courses in England in l951 Kakooza, who was then secretary of UFA negotiated with the United Kingdom Football Association for a tour of Britain by the Uganda national soccer team.

The visit materialised in l956 and Kakooza was one of the officials who accompanied the team, which shocked British fans by playing bare-footed.

Perhaps the pinnacle of Kakooza's career in sports was unveiled in l972 when he became the general secretary of the National Council of Sports (NCS). He took over from an Asian, Hassan Sunderani, who had been the Council's boss since it was formed in l964.

Although he left the Council in l974, Kakooza bounced back in l978-80 as its chairman.

Despite his unreserved commitment to sports, Kakooza always found time to serve the Anglican Church of Uganda of which he was devout and dedicated member.

The Diocese of Namirembe reciprocated by ordaining him a priest, in accordance with Anglican tradition, without attending the pre-ordination course at Bishop Tucker College, Mukono.

Fortunately, Reverend Canon Kakooza has left behind a book entitled "Football For All" which will always commemorate Uganda's greatest sports administrator.

Burial will take place tomorrow at St. Stephen's Church Kabowa on Entebbe road next to his wife who died three years ago.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

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