In Summary

According to the Special Olympics Country Director Genevieve Bamwidhukire, they have so far secured some air-tickets but still need more tickets and winter clothing for the team. “We still have a challenge of winter outfits, we have not yet dressed the team yet they have to be dressed appropriately for the winter games,” she said.

KAMPALA.

With just a month to the Special Olympics World Winter Games, Team Uganda’s participation hinges on government availing over Shs175m needed to facilitate the team to Austria where the Games will be held from March 14-24.

Uganda plans to send a team of 16 athletes in the competition that brings together intellectually disabled sportsmen from around the world. The team which is undergoing intense preparations in Mbuya- a Kampala suburb, will take part in floor hockey.

According to the Special Olympics Country Director Genevieve Bamwidhukire, they have so far secured some air-tickets but still need more tickets and winter clothing for the team. “We still have a challenge of winter outfits, we have not yet dressed the team yet they have to be dressed appropriately for the winter games,” she said.

She remains optimistic that government intervention will come in time for the team to make the trip, “as usual we wrote to the Ministry of Sports but also the President’s and Prime Minister’s offices but we are still waiting for a response. If we could get support of $50,000 then we can take the team comfortably that includes airlifting them but also well dressed for the weather,” she said.

However, the uncertainty over availability of funds has not affected the team’s training patterns as every team member remains focused, “We are training hard and I know that after winning gold at the last winter games the team will bring the gold from Austria too,” Bamwidhulire said

She was speaking after a day-long dental clinic for intellectually disabled children at Daughters of Charity Home in Kiwanga Mukono yesterday that was facilitated by Special Olympics Uganda in conjunction with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Mulago Paramedical School.

“In sport you cannot have a good athlete when they are not healthy so we believe that we should look at the health of the people that we do sports with. We start with checking their health,if one is fit enough we train them for sports as others are given only fitness training,” she noted.

pkanyomozi@ug.nationmedia.com