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The KIU Darts Team That Turned Tables At the 2023 University Games


By Isaac Akugizibwe

KIU, Main Campus- At the 19th edition of the Association of Uganda University Sports (AUUS) Games hosted by Uganda Christian University (UCU) at the end of 2023, several sporting stories unfolded, yet many went untold. KIU's triumph in Darts to end Ndejje's nine-year dominance was arguably one of the greatest highlights that never saw the light.

KIU finished sixth overall, participating in only eight sporting disciplines, with both the boy's and girl’s teams as well as individuals producing extraordinary displays.

The Darts team, divided between boys and girls, pulled off a scintillating display, beating favourites and nine-time defending champions, Ndejje University, in the finals, marking the beginning of a new era in darts at the AUUS games.

According to Sharon Achan, a member of the KIU Women's Darts team, KIU's captivating triumph over Ndejje University not only shocked the opponents but everyone else at the games in Mukono.

"It was a very wonderful moment for us, especially considering that we used to train jokingly. Reaching the games and beating Ndejje was simply incredible to the extent that they failed to announce us; they just went silent," She shared.

"They gave us our medals and the trophy, but everyone remained in shock at how KIU had beaten Ndejje hands down in both the boys and girls categories."

With both the boys and girls securing Gold, the darts team emerged overall best of the eight teams representing KIU at the 19th edition of the AUUS Games hosted by Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Mukono.

The darts team was followed by the Karate contingent that secured Gold and Silver and the table tennis team that secured Gold for the Ladies' singles and doubles.

Sharon Achan, along with Mariam Akunu, claimed the Women's Gold, while Emmanuel Wodidi and Devis Wakoba equalled the challenge to win the Men's Darts finals after overcoming a highly contested encounter with the defending champions, Ndejje.

The men's team also included Ivan Otyek, who won the decider game, and Andrew Kirya, a promising year one student of laws with a bright future for the game at Uganda's leading private University.

Joel Munyendoh, who doubles as a sports administrator, was the coach of team KIU. He was impressed by the team's incredible run at the 2023 AUUS Games.

"It's encouraging, and I feel like doing much with the team so that I can keep them on top. The victory gave me a challenge to keep the team together, and we are ready to challenge Ndejje University at the East Africa University Games," He said.

Ndejje University is the defending champion of the East Africa University games, which will be held in Nairobi in 2024.

Munyendoh confessed that he trusted his team from the very beginning of the games, thanks to their spirited fight for glory that they never disappointed.

"I believed in my team, and they never disappointed. We went there as underdogs and came back as champions, “He stated.

The seasoned sportsman, whose impact was felt across all the sporting disciplines KIU participated in, did not lose trust in his troops even when several people thought Darts wasn't highly expected to secure Gold in Mukono.

He recounted, "I think if not the first, I may be one of the few coaches to win gold in both categories in the same tournament.

"You know how it feels! No one expected that, but I trusted my players, and I even promised the tutor before heading for the games that darts would bring home something."

He concluded, "And also, we thank our dean of students for the support and being with us from day one till the end. She made sure that she moved to all venues where a KIU team was playing to cheer."

The 2023 AUUS Games hosted by Uganda Christian University (UCU) presented one of the best sporting adventures for University sports in Uganda, proving that with support, trust, and teamwork, no stone can go unturned for KIU.