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19 January 2020 | in CUSF News

Continental university sports league coming to Africa

A university sports league for all sports events is coming to Africa! Africa Sports Ventures Group (ASVG) and the Federation of Africa University Sports (FASU) reached an agreement and signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Collegiate Sports League for all sports disciplines across the continent.

 

In addition the signing also included a Student-Athlete Sports Scholarship Fund Program for African universities that mirrors what the United States of America has with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). With this agreement, FISU’s continental association continues its work to bring more university sport competitions and championships throughout Africa.

 

Leslie Koroma, founder of the Africa Sports Ventures Group, said that the key purpose for the formation of this university sports league system is to provide the necessary link from youth sports to the professional level for African athletes.

 

“The Africa Collegiate League was formed to bridge the gap in the development continuum of athletes in Africa by bridging the gap between youth sports and the professional level,” Koroma said. “This gives more opportunities to student-athletes across the African Continent – and a greater chance at an advanced education for those pursuing their passion in sports.”

 

Added Koroma: “The Africa Collegiate League is a support structure for the Africa Sports Scholarship Fund, which was born out of the necessity to incentivize and heighten student- athlete participation in sports in universities across Africa and provide opportunities for young sports men and women coming up from the school system.”

 

Scheduled to kick off in October 2020 with an initial installment of 32 universities, the league will commence with football and basketball.

 

This development has sparked interest from student-athletes across the continents. “We sample the opinion of university athletes on their thought on such a venture and how important and relevant meets like this can be for their career,” Koroma noted.

 

The 2018 African Championships 100 meter bronze medalist Joy-Udo Gabriel expressed her excitement with the announcement to FISU U-Media.

 

"I believe the initiative is a very nice one, considering we usually don’t get such in Africa so it’s going to be a very big opportunity for some of us to show what we have while also going to school,” said the student-athlete Education major from the University of Lagos Nigeria. “I believe this idea is a really good one for us student athletes in Africa.”

 

Jeremiah Jakpa, a finance student at the University of Lagos and an athlete for the Making of Champions agreed, saying, "I think it is a very much welcomed initiative, as I believe this will help us not just competing locally but getting the opportunity to compete against our peers in other African universities. I also believe this will help the universities themselves invest more into sports which is something that represents hope for the youth and our future because though not everyone goes professional we all need sports as a means of fitness.”

 
Uganda Christian University during the 2019 edition of the African Varsity Basketball Championships in Nairobi, Kenya. Both the men's and women's teams from UCU took home the 3x3 Basketball titles

FASU General Secretary Penninah Kabenga noted that the Collegiate Sports League does not replace or displace the functions of the African University Sports Federation in organizing its own championships, but is a welcomes development with the stated mission to establish more opportunities for student-athletes to excel.

 

"We are committed to work with Africa sports ventures group as we continue to build university sports in Africa,” said Kabenga, who also serves as a FISU Vice President – a first in the federation’s history.

 

In addition, FASU officially announced that the 10th All Africa University Games 2020 will be held on the Kenyatta University campus in Nairobi, Kenya. This competition will run from 17th – 21st August 2020.