By Staff Reporter
The community of Okalongo and the surrounding areas were, over the past weekend, stunned as two giants of the Okalongo Social League, Big Elephant FC and Diadora FC locked horns. Big Elephant emerged victorious as they defeated Diadora 2-0. Big Elephant also managed to escape the relegation zone while Diadora sinks into the relegation zone.
The current league leaders, Vasco United, were disappointed as their opponent, Omtyuula Brossel, could not pitch up due to unforeseen circumstances, but they were, however, consoled with 3 points as the opponent didn’t make arrangements beforehand.
The Okalongo social league is a football league that was found in in 2021 by the community of Okalongo under the leadership of Mr Lizirio Fillipus. The league is made up of 14 football teams.
According to Mr Nghaamwa who is a player for Vasco United, the main idea of the league is to keep young people busy and help them refrain from bad activities. “We noticed with great concern that a lot of young people around Okalongo are turning into criminals and drunkards. The aim of this social league is to keep young people focused on football and not on crime and alcohol. We also want to put local young talents to use,” stated Mr Nghaamwa
Just like any other organizations, the league faces its own challenges. Some of the challenges include lack of resources for most teams and as a result they are unable to always show up for matches. “Some teams are from far, and most of the times they struggle with transportation to the soccer field,” Said Mr Nghaamwa
He further stated that there is lack of support for individual players and for the teams as they don’t have a permanent sponsor. The main sources of income for the league are registration fees for each team and the funds collected from player cards that every player must pay.
“No one is funding us; it is just with the help of Mr. Fillipus who decided to buy balls and other football materials for the team as well as Mr. Kalomo, one of the Chairman for the league who sponsored us with officials’ kits,” added Mr. Nghaamwa.
The league is also experiencing lack of skilled officials. The league officials do not have any form of training, and they are just doing the job for the love of football and their community. “We want NFA to offer support to football at grassroots level by offering training to our officials so that they have proper knowledge on how to manage the league,” said Mr. Nghaamwa
The Okalongo Social league has big dreams for the league, and they want to see Okalongo social league becoming one of the biggest leagues in the north. The league wants to produce good talents that can join other big leagues locally and internationally. “We want to attract good participation and sponsors. We want to see our players playing for big teams like Brave Warriors and even abroad,” said Mr. Nghaamwa
Okalongo Social League is one of the fastest growing social leagues in the north that has seen a lot of sports lovers taking part and also keeping the youth busy playing football during weekends.