Remember when we said we shall bring to you all the major old students’ leagues across Kampala. After our profiling of the Ntare Lions’ League, the feedback was pleasant and today we bring you regards from The Budo League camp. Article information has been pieced up by Timothy Lugayizi.
The Budo League (TBL) is a football competition organised by and for alumni of Kings College Budo, one of the oldest secondary schools in Uganda. These alumni are commonly referred to as Old Budonians.
The Budo League (TBL)
Unlike most league organisations whose plans and action points change with time or aren’t documented, TBL have a vision. They seek to bring together Old Budonians through the footballing sport in order to provide a platform for networking, building solidarity, maintaining fitness and good health amongst the Old Budonian community across the world.
“We also look to demystify the myth about Budonians and show our more sociable side. Our doors are wide open to the friends of Budo.” Timothy Bukenya, of the Team Thazoballo (Class of 2005) told our reporter.
The Budo League is currently run by a Football Association (FA) which is headed by a Chairman. The FA is working round the clock to make the league vision a reality and its current project is TBL Season 4.
Their Roots and Background
TBL has had three (3) successful seasons since its inauguration on 11th February 2018. In its first two (2) seasons, TBL took on the format of an inter-house competition which saw them compete amongst themselves using the basis of dormitories they slept in, better known as houses, as they were/are at Budo.
“We took advantage of our past ties to our houses that we called home while we were in school and handpicked specific team representatives to mobilise their former ‘house-mates’ into teams mainly using the WhatsApp platform.” Bukenya further said.
This resulted into two (2) unforgettable seasons of not only great football but also reunion. Ghana House emerged as the Champions of TBL Season 1 and South Africa House were the Champions of Season 2.
While the inter-house system was a success, it faced the challenge of limiting the number of competing teams to only seven (7) plus a guest team to make eight (8). It was this limitation that prompted the FA to progress TBL to an inter-class competition.
This system, as the name suggests, is a competition amongst the classes/years of study of the Old Budonians. Each team is identified by the students year of departure from Budo, i.e. Jubilewo, the class of 2002 to 2007 is identified as Class of 2007. No marks for guessing the writer’s year of study.
TBL Season 3
For TBL Season 3, organisation had twelve (12) participating teams ranging from the years 2003 to 2015 (excluding 2013). Unlike previous seasons the competition changed from a 6-a-side arrangement to 9-a-side (9 players on pitch per team).
TBL Season 3 took on the “League and play-offs” format which is common with American competitions. This format meant that each team played against every other team in a points accumulation competition and the top four (4) teams at the end of season advanced to play-offs (semi-finals and finals).
The Class of 2015, Galacticos, true to their name shone brightest and were crowned the first Champions of the inter-class edition of TBL. Notably, they were the youngest team in TBL Season 3. Young, in terms of year of study but not necessarily in appearance.
Another unique feature of TBL Season 3 was that even the ladies were catered for on the football pitch as well. Each team was allowed to have one or more female players on pitch to earn the advantage of playing with ten (10) players as opposed to nine (9).
It was an epic 3rd edition of TBL which came to close on 8th September 2019 at the home of TBL, Legends Rugby Club.
TBL Season 4
TBL Season 4 kicked off on 1st December 2019. A fitting date for grand opening, as in most peoples minds it also doubled as the “unofficial opening” of the Christmas festivities.
“Be sure that TBL will be serving extra sauce this December all the way through to July 2020. Preparations to make it the most exciting edition of TBL are in high gear and Legends Rugby Club will be the place to be for the next 8 months or so.” Bukenya said.
By the close of Season 3, there were 12 teams in the league: QuadBallo, Abachuba, Massape, Takoradi, Accumulators, Midnight Express, Jubilewos, Basuunzi, Peaky Blinders, ThazoBalo, Galacticos and Centurions.
TBL Season 4 has since attracted two (2) extra teams so the league now comprises fourteen (14) teams ranging from the years 2002 to 2015. The new entrants are End Game (Class of 2013) and Mango Power (Class of 2002). Please don’t ask what Mango Power means. Its a long and anticlimactic story.
A new and unique feature of TBL this season that has made the event more interactive, especially for non-players, is the introduction of the TBL E-League.
TBL E-League is a video game competition played on Play Station 4. The competitors play FIFA 20, arguably the most popular video game in the world.
TBL E-League also took on the main league competition format amongst the same TBL teams. At the end of the season, they will be crowning the on-pitch Champion and the virtual Champion. Mouthwatering, isn’t it? The video games are also open to the public to pay and play at a fee.
TBL Season 4 is sponsored by Guinness Beer, Legends Rugby Club, Jibu Water, the Old Budonians Club, Digital Bridge Technologies, OXO Media and Bugolobi Ambulance Services.
The TBL FA is currently under the guardianship of Harold Atukwatse, from Quadballo, the class of 2008.
For regular updates on The Budo League please visit social media sites on Facebook The Budo Legue, Twitter & Instagram – @TheBudoLeague.
[Additional reporting by Sharon Kiwanuka]