- The issue: Ugandan sports
- Our view: The government should thus treat this sector as priority and allocate more resources to it. The pride of the country is for us all.
The England Roses have won another battle, but Uganda’s She Cranes leave the game happier; their future is very bright,” were the commentator’s remarks as the whistle went off at the end of the netball game between England and Uganda on Sunday morning.
Uganda’s ladies, debutants at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, had just put up a spirited fight to manage a slim 55-49 defeat to England Roses at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The She Cranes, the David in this match against Goliath (England), had gone into the game after beating another Pool B member – Malawi 54-52. They had, however, earlier lost the Thursday’s opening day match to New Zealand by 64-51. Seeing from the margins, the She Cranes arguably put up a spirited performance.
Less than an hour later on Sunday, three other athletes; Joshua Cheptegei, Thomas Kipyeko, and Philip Ayeko took to the track for the 5,000 metres men’s race. The result was a dazzling of the three boys - a gold medal to Uganda’s bag in Cheptegei’s name and impressive performance of the other two, finishing 4th and 6th.
Yesterday, three other athletes - Stella Chesang, Juliet Chekwel and Mercyline Chelangat went for another gold expedition in the women’s 10,000m race. They returned with gold in the name of Chesang and a bronze to Chelangat’s tag. Unbelievable!
Before yesterday, there had been individual feats from Aki Bua, Moses Kipsiro, Dorcus Inzikuru, and Stephen Kiprotich, among others, that waved our flag up there. The campaign is easily Uganda’s most successful in recent times. And it points to even a brighter future.
Listening to the Ugandan anthem being played on the international day twice in as many days, was not only heartwarming, but also made one feel proud to be a Ugandan. The sight of the Ugandan flag both in the stands and that hoisted on the pole as the anthem was played, sold Uganda to thousands of viewers across the Commonwealth countries.
What then does this tell us? Sports needs to be given due attention. The country is full of talent, which is either untapped or not supported. In Sebei, for example, there are many promising world champions, but they do not have the facilities to train from and sometimes those that make it farther, take it upon themselves - most times bankrolling the whole training regime.
The She Cranes have also on several occasions complained of poor welfare and remuneration yet they continue to soldier on to fly the national flag high. The government should thus treat this sector as priority and allocate more resources for it. The pride of the country is for us all.