Experienced Sports Administrator Patrick Ssebuliba has expressed his readiness to turn Victoria University into one of the best sports institutions in the country.
In an interview with on-line sports publication The-SportsNation, Ssebuliba offered an insight into the University’s preparations and their plans.
Ssebuliba, a Sports Coordinator at Victoria University joined the institution in 2020 after ending his spell at Nkumba University where he had helped the Entebbe-based institution win over 300 trophies across all sports disciplines.
Ssebuliba also revealed that he wants to reinstate a strong Victoria University football team that years back went on to feature in the Uganda Premier League.
He said: “Its just unfortunate that after sometime, the leadership of the University changed and the Victoria University FC team ceased to exist.”
“But the current leadership, including one of the directors Mr. Rajiv Ruparelia, is a Sports person. My Vice Chancellor (Lawrence Muganga) is a lover of Sports and we already began exchanging ideas on how best we can strongly engage sports in this University,” he said.
“You are very much aware that sports is one of the co-curricular activities that is a must in all education establishments. So we provide time for our students to do physical fitness not for fun but for physical wellbeing, healthy wellbeing and competition,” he noted.
“This University has given scholarships to over 80 students, and because of that we want to have visibility for the University through Sports,” he said.
“We have a number of local, regional and International competitions where we must compete, so we had to get the good talent to give us the good results. We are handling these things step by step, we do not like to just go out there and concede 8.”
Last year, Victoria University’s Women team finished fourth in the National Handball League on their debut season.
This year, the side will be competing in the National Basketball League (after acquiring Sharing Youth’s slot in top flight).
The University will later on this year, in July, host the Woodball Presidents Cup at Kampala International School.
Ssebuliba says that he will use his expertise and experience to see that Victoria University become a formidable force in Ugandan sports.
“I am a believer, I know what I am capable of, I have got strong backing from my bosses here at Victoria University and we have already recruited some of the best players in most sports disciplines. The University is also in advanced plans to put up our own sports facilities among other developments.”
Ssebuliba’s name in Ugandan Sports needs no introduction. He served as the Uganda Premier League Committee Chairman, where his Competitions Committee Secretary was current FUFA boss Moses Magogo.
He is the current General Secretary for University Sports in Uganda and served as FUFA Football Delegate for over 10 years.
But his main achievements came while at Nkumba University.
“I started out at Nkumba at around the age 21, I had just left Campus, and I served there for 25 years! I was working initially as a lecturer in the department of Business Administration,” he said. Ssebuliba who did a diploma in Makerting, begore pursuing a Bachelors in Business Administration, and Masters in Education Management.
“During the course of my working with Nkumba, the University gave me an opportunity to be in charge of Sports. I had already shown my passion for Sports,” he says.
“Then I did a lot of training – Like the Football coaching courses etc. My main interest was in Football majorly,” he says.
“But I achieved a lot in almost each sports discipline and that’s what I want to do here with Victoria University.”
In basketball, the men’s team (Nkumba Marines) won the National Basletball League back to back – 2005 & 2006 – and they also played in Zonal competitions in Kigali and Dar Es Salam.
The Women Volleyball tea won eight national league titles and won the national championship twice as well. Nkumba also represented Uganda eight times at the Africa championship.
Ssebuliba was also voted the best football coach twice, at the University league and his side reached the University Football League final once.
He won trophies in Wakiso district, Buganda region, among others.
They won at the East Africa University games thrice in Dar es Salaam, Makerere and Kenyatta University in Kenya.
They were more dominant in Volleyball, Handball and Netball. “Nkumba won the East Africa and Uganda trophies since 2005, and that is both for Men and Women. I may have lost twice or once in there but it was a routine win everytime for those three disciplines until I left,” he says.
On how he hopes to replicate that success at Victoria University, Ssebuliba noted: “By scouting good players, having the right coaches and I have moved on with most of them. They didn’t have Contracts with Nkumba actually, I struggled to pay them while at Nkumba but right now Victoria is taking them on and will pay them. We recruited the best here, including Former She Cranes coach Rashid Mubiru who will handle our Netball teams.”
He added: “I collected 318 trophies during my time at Nkumba University, that is what I surrendered when I was leaving. You may all go there and see that trophy cabinet. We won them in Uganda, East Africa and at international level,” he says.