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Christian Benitez: Former Birmingham striker dies aged 27

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Christian Benitez:

Christian Benitez

BBC

Former Birmingham striker Christian Benitez has died at the age of 27.

The Ecuador international was admitted to hospital with severe stomach pains shortly after making his debut for Qatari side El Jaish on Sunday.

His heart failed hours later, the Ecuador Football Federation said.

Benitez, capped 58 times by his country, spent the 2009-10 season on loan at Blues from Santos Laguna but returned to the Mexican side when they decided not to sign him permanently.

Benitez, also known as ‘Chucho’, had been playing in El Jaish’s 2-0 win against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup.
His new club, who signed Benitez on 6 July, confirmed the news a few hours later. Their statement said: “The club would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family of the player. “Benitez had recently joined the club from Club America for three seasons. The player participated for the first time with the team during yesterday’s match against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup without complaining of any health problems.
“His sudden departure is a big shock for each member of the technical and administrative staff. He was a player that over the short period he was here was regarded for his high moral character.” Birmingham will mark the player’s death ahead of Saturday’s Championship match against Watford at St Andrew’s. The club said: “The thoughts of all associated with the club are with Chucho’s family and friends at this very sad time.
“The Ecuador international was an immensely popular character during his time at the club.” Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Lee Carsley, who was a team-mate of Benitez at Birmingham, told BBC Sport: “It’s devastating news for his family and I’m sure Birmingham City will want to pay their respects. “I remember he had outstanding ability, was very quick and was a bit of a free spirit.
“He had a big personality and he burst on to the scene when he came on at Old Trafford [as a substitute against Manchester United in August 2009] and caused lots of problems. His ability – and goalscoring ability – was there to see.
“But he didn’t really fulfil his potential at Birmingham – it was difficult because of the way Birmingham played. “He was a popular player in the changing room, he got a grasp of the Brummie accent quite quickly and he was popular with everyone. It is sad to lose anyone like this.” Benitez’s former Birmingham team-mate Craig Gardner, now at Sunderland, tweeted: “Cannot believe Christian Benitez has died.
“I had the pleasure to play with him. He was a top bloke. My thoughts go out to his family.”
Benitez scored four goals in 36 appearances during his time in England and came to prominence during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The son of Ermen Benitez, one of Ecuador’s all-time leading goalscorers, Benitez left Santos Laguna for Club America, another Mexican side, in 2011.

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Pepsi Independence Golf Tournament returns for 9th edition

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Mrs. Tracy Kakuru Otatina (C)  Corporate Communications Manager Crown Beverages Limited(CBL) putts as  Mr. David Sekitoleko (L) Business Development Consultant Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Mr. Allan Muhinda (2nd L), Head Global Market Sales at Stanbic Bank, Mr.Daniel Kairu (2nd R) Head of Business Development at ICEA, and look on.

Mrs. Tracy Kakuru Otatina (C), Corporate Communications Manager Crown Beverages Limited putts as Mr. David Sekitoleko (L) Business Development Consultant Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Mr. Allan Muhinda (2nd L), Head Global Market Sales at Stanbic Bank, and Mr.Daniel Kairu (2nd R) Head of Business Development at ICEA, look on.

By Our Reporter

The Pepsi Independence Golf Tournament is back for its 9th edition. Themed “Tee Off Against Breast Cancer”, it was officially announced during a press briefing held at Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Thursday morning.

Initiated in 2010, the Pepsi Golf independence tournament which is this year slated to take place on 09th October, is expected to attract over 130 golf players from different golf clubs across the country, both in the pros and amateur categories, that will participate in a competition with prizes to be rewarded at the end of the tournament.

This year’s tournament is dedicated to breast cancer awareness and early detection.“October being the breast Cancer awareness month and the month when Uganda commemorates her 57th independence, we sought an opportunity for participants and consumers to both celebrate and embrace talent for community support and development geared towards fighting the Cancer scourge in Uganda through the golf sport,” remarked Mrs. Tracy Kakuru Otatina, Corporate Communications Manager Crown Beverages Limited while addressing the media.

“Our 2019 theme for this golf tournament is ‘Tee off against breast Cancer’ whose chief purpose is to procure a Cancer machine that will aid in early detection of all types of cancer because there still exists a gap in early detection support, hence fueling our decision to take on methods to deliver awareness through diagnosing the disease at an early stage.” She added, further noting that, “All these years we have been inviting our partners, well-wishers, staff, for free participation in a friendly but competitive tournament, but this time round our green fees will be at UGX 100,000, and together with our partners’ funds, we will be in position to procure the much needed machine.”

Mr. David Sekitoleko, Business Development Consultant at Sheraton Hotel Kampala said, “I have been involved in the game of Golf over the years, and for this edition we shall have both professionals, and amateurs play in this tournament. Every year that the tournament is held, Pepsi and its partners put up a kitty that the professionals play for, and this edition will see professionals play for 30 million in a 3 day competition set to kick off on Sunday 6th, to Tuesday 8th, then on 9th October (Independence Day), the amateurs /corporate players will converge at palm valley for a half day competition.”

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Kickboxer Patricia Apolot set for rematch with Kenya’s Joyce Awino

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By Our Reporter

Uganda’s top-ranked female kickboxer Patricia Apolot has vowed to crush Kenyan fighter Joyce Awino in their rematch slated for this weekend at Smiles Corner Hotel in Kireka, Kampala.

Known to many by her stage name “Black Pearl”, Apolot will return to the ring against Awino in the African title fight dubbed “The Reveletion Night of 1000 Punches” on Saturday, August 31. The fight is in low kick style sanctioned by both Uganda Kickboxing Federation (UKF) and World Kickboxing Federation (WKF).

The two fought in April this year in Tororo and Apolot won by knockout.

“I have trained hard and very ready, so my fans should come expecting the best from me,” Apolot said, adding that “I wish to thank my sponsors, Hima Cement, for their consistent financial and moral support towards my kickboxing career.”

Hima Cement Marketing and Pricing Manager, Charles Mugasi said that the sponsorship is intended to enable her perform to her best and inspire other young girls in Uganda to join the kickboxing sport.

Apolot who has been involved in 21 professional fights winning 12 by knockout has changed the kickboxing landscape in Uganda with her unique techniques and unmatched determination to grow the at different levels more especially young girls.

She has won several tittles from home, continental, and intercontinental fights which makes her the holder of the largest number of belts and gold medals in the sport in Uganda and Africa at large.

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Bamasaaba Sports Tournament gets Ugx 50 Million boost

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By Our Reporter

Pilsner Lager, a beer produced by Uganda Breweries, has announced a UGX50 million sponsorship package towards the upcoming Bamasaaba Sports Tournament 2019. The tournament will start on August 15 th and run up to October.

Organised by the Bamasaaba Sisimukha Club (BASC), the games bring together various teams from Masaaba communities in both Uganda and Kenya with the aim of honouring culture, promoting unity and the development of the Bamasaaba people through sports and games.

This year’s sponsorship package was announced at a press briefing held at Uganda Breweries’ head offices in Luzira.

While announcing the sponsorship, Edgar Kihumuro, the Pilsner Lager Brand Manager, said, “We live in an era when it is crucial for us to hold our cultural and traditional values close to heart. Pilsner Lager, as a brand, understands and cares about the pride associated with a deep African heritage and this commitment has seen us invest in the development of local sports potential, for example, with the ongoing Pilsner Super 8 Tournament. By sponsoring the Bamasaaba Sports tournament, not only are we advancing a passion for sports but also for the traditions that bring people together.”

The tournament has, in the past, attracted various teams drawn from over 20 clans from the districts covering Mbale, Bududa, Sironko, Manafwa and Bulambuli in Uganda and the Bamasaaba Kenya Chapter which covers Trans Nzoia and Bungoma.

“The Bamasaaba Sports Tournament continues to be a wonderful opportunity for our people to come together in celebration of our culture and tradition. In addition, our youth are encouraged to stay in touch with their rich heritage through sports, which inspire, entertain and give them an opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Israel Koboi, Chairperson of the Bamasaaba Sisimukha Club.

The sports tournament places an emphasis on football and netball that will be played in a series of group knockout stages.

“This year, we plan to include new activities like bicycle riding, a marathon, bull riding and shortput and we are glad for the support of partners like Pilsner Lager for being part of this journey,” Koboi added.

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