Jinja- Ideally, sports and tourism should be bedfellows.
But in Uganda, it is only a handful that will develop a concept to fuse the two and pull it off.
Last weekend, Uganda Table Tennis Association (UTTA), in conjunction with Round Bob and Castle Lite held a sports and tourism tournament titled ‘Balls of Fury’, and to their credit, things turned out to perfect.
The idea was to treat table tennis players and the general public to a two-day sport and recreation-filled action. It started on Saturday with table tennis action between national players (men and women) and the amateurs/corporates.
In the senior men’s category, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ronald Nyaika, the top seed, showed early intent by overcoming Moses Mpabwa 3-1 in the quarter-finals, before beating Alex Wagumire 3-1 in the semis.
With a trophy in sight, Nyaika got into ruthless mode and dispatched Ivan Wamusi 3-0. The latter had beaten Jude Mutete 3-0 in the other semi-final tie. In the men’s corporates/amateurs, Samuel Knobeloch beat Tony Birungi 3-1 to win a fully-paid trip to Dubai, courtesy of Round Bob. Halima Nambozo and Lydia Natunga both swept their semi-final opponents; Zura Khaukha and Mercy Nabusano, respectively. In the titanic final, Nambozo put up a steely performance to win 3-2.
On Sunday, the tourism bit came in with boat cruises, music and pool side parties. And for obvious reasons, Jinja, with its famous tourism hangouts, served the players and revelers to a good experience.