~ By Grace Kemigisa
It was a mixture of volleyball talent display, competition and electric fun over the weekend at the Lugogo indoor stadium and Hockey grounds as 26 clubs from the region battled it out for the 2022 NSSF- KAVC International volleyball championship.
The odds however, fell in favor of Rwanda’s Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) club that clinched both the women and men’s title.
In highly spirited games played over a 3 day weekend clubs put up strong fights against each other to get a slot in the finals and the climax came down to a Uganda – Rwanda derby with Rwanda’s APR taking on Uganda’s KCCA and KAVC in the women and men’s categories respectively.
In the men’s final, APR started strong leading the first set of the game, but the advantage didn’t last long as KAVC caught up and went on to win the second and third sets. In the fourth set APR came back in a ruthless manner winning the set and forcing a decider. Though they had suffered 2 red cards in the game, APR bravely took on the hosts KAVC in the fifth set trampling them to a 15-12 win.
The situation was not so different in the women’s finals where APR led the first 2 sets before KCCA made an impressive comeback winning the third and fourth set that brought the game to a tie. In the deciding set, APR proved stronger than the resilient KCCA to win the set at 16-14.
With the two wins, APR emerged the champions of the 24th edition of the 2022 NSSF- KAVC International volleyball tournament. APR is winning the men’s title for the third time and the women’s for the first time.
Final score
Men: APR 3-2 KAVC (23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 19-25, 15-12)
Women: KCCA 2-3 APR (19-25, 25-27, 25-20, 26-24, 14-16)
This amateur tournament attacked volleyball clubs from South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. 16 men clubs and 10 women clubs. Running the 12th year in a row, the tournament a platform to showcase the blooming volleyball talent in the region.
The competition as always kicked off will preliminary games followed by semifinals where the women’s defending champions KB-Nkumba were eliminated. The men’s defending champions Kenya’s Homegrown was a no show due to the ongoing elections in Kenya. But other notable clubs this year included Rwanda’s REG, Burundi’s Rukinzo, Tanzania’s Kagera and South Sudan’s Cobra.
Among the players APR’s Benitah Mukandayisenga and KAVC’s Daudi Okello’s performances stood out as they were crowned MVP of the tournament.
In the spirit of growing talent, the last day of the tournament had a junior contest where primary schools like Samaritan primary school and sunrise primary school outshone others.
Though it had a nearly 3 year break due to the COVID19 pandemic, the organizers of the contest NSSF and KAVC are pleased at this year’s turn up and are promising to continue supporting the game of volleyball by organizing more of these tournaments and working together with the regional volleyball associations to grow the sport.

The event climax was graced by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) team led by Deputy Managing Director, Patrick Ayota and the former Vice President of Uganda H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi who was chief guest.