Using football to transform lives of Ugandan orphans

Lurgan man Karol Gallagher pictured in Uganda with children who are participating in his On the Ball initiative.
Lurgan man Karol Gallagher pictured in Uganda with children who are participating in his On the Ball initiative.

A trip to Africa visiting relatives proved to be the driving force behind Lurgan man Karol Gallagher’s desire to help orphans play football.

The 33 year old, who founded the On the Ball initiative, will be hosting a day out at the Taghnevan Community Centre on Saturday, June 29 to raise funds for the project aimed at helping underprivileged orphans in Uganda.

Karol was inspired to establish the On the Ball initiative when he visited his family in Kampala, Uganda last December. During the holiday Karol was introduced to David Obua, a footballer from Kampala who played in the Scottish league.

He said: “I met with coaches and saw the lack of equipment and infrastructure. The kids there were mostly underprivileged orphans. I was very touched so I set up a team of coaches and eight teams of kids from five slums.

“I will be travelling to Uganda on July 17 for six weeks. While there, I will be arranging a series of one day tournaments and training the coaches, building a method of skills coaching.”

The Taghnevan event will have dancing, face painting, a cake sale, a raffle, a car boot sale and a five a side football tournament for the kids.”

Those who wish to take part in the football and to sell items at the boot sale will have to register beforehand. The cost is £2 per player, £3 per car and £5 per van. All proceeds will go towards the On The Ball initiative.

To register your team or car contact Karol at Karolgallagher@yahoo.com

Karol is a qualified football coach and referee, who has taken part in various community programs offered by the Craigavon Borough Council.

His proposal has gained a lot of momentum already in Uganda.