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Former Arsenal striker and Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kanu set to visit Uganda

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Nwankwo Kanu

By Robert Kayindi James

2015 was a historical year in the records of the football fraternity in Uganda as the country hosted and entertained some of soccer’s greatest players ever in the names of Patrick Kluivert, Anderson Decco, Gialunca Zambrotta who came with the Barcelona legends.

The Pearl of Africa is now expecting to host former Arsenal striker and Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kanu who will be in the country next week as we prepare to entertain Burkina Faso in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.

Kanu will be setting foot in the country for the second time following his first visit in 2007 as a player with the Super Eagles of Nigeria that faced off with the Cranes in the 2008 AFCON qualifiers.

His planned visit is being spearheaded by Star-Times and according to the pay TV’s marketing manager Aldrine Nsubuga, the two time African player of the year (1996 & 98) will be here for numerous reasons but first will be to support the Cranes as they play Burkina Faso on 29th March at Namboole Stadium.

“On arrival at Entebbe airport, a press conference will be held and he will later move to Namboole to cheer the Cranes against the Stallions. He will be part of the inspection team on the day and if all goes as planned, he is to visit the Cranes’ dressing room before the match to give them courage,” Aldrine Nsubuga is quoted by Kawowo.

The 39-year-old star is also expected to be the chief guest at a commercial fixture between Star Times’ locally sponsored clubs in KCCA FC and SC Villa on 30th March, 2016 at the Phillip Omondi Stadium.

Nwankwo Kanu’s European footballing career kicked off at Ajax where he won 3 league titles and the UEFA Champions League in 1995. He then joined Inter Milan for a brief spell, winning the UEFA Cup before joining Arsenal in 1999 for £4.15M. With the gunners, the African star went on to win 2 Premier League titles and 2 FA Cups. He later on featured for Portsmouth where he won the FA Cup in 2007/2008.

On the international scene, Kanu was part of the Nigerian U-17 World Cup winning team in 1993, was also part of the Olympic Gold medal winning team in 1996 in Atlanta. He also won the BBC African footballer of the year in 1997 and 1999 before being a runner up for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000.

Being a survivor of a heart problem in the early 90s, Kanu will pay a courtesy visit to Mulago heart institute where he is expected to do charity and donate equipment.

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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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Kawempe S.S dominates Airtel Rising Stars Kampala Regional Tournament

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By Our Reporter

Last weekend, Airtel Uganda hosted the best youth football teams from Kampala district at Sendi grounds in Wankulukuku for the Airtel Rising Stars Kampala Regional tournament – the first regional tournament of the 2019 competitions.

The 3-day tournament, which had 16 boys’ and 8 girls’ teams, saw Kawempe Muslim SS dominate on both fronts with their boys team defeating 2018 winner Kampala Junior Team (KJT) 5-4 in penalty shoot-outs following a goal-less draw after 90 minutes.

The Kawempe Muslim SS girls’ team also defeated Uganda Martyrs 2 -1 in an exciting and nerve-wracking match watched by Honorable Nabilah Nagayi, the Kampala Woman MP, FUFA leadership led by 2nd Vice President Darius Mugoya and Airtel Uganda Brand and Strategy Manager Ms. Noela Byuma.

Following their victory, both Kawempe Muslim boys and girls teams walked away with a trophy, gold medals each and 1.5 million shillings each. Runners up KJT (boys) and Uganda Martyrs (girls) also took hom a trophy, silver medals for the players and 1 million shillings. Uganda Martyrs’ Kevin
Nakachwa was named girls MVP while Jeremiah Jabel from St. Mary’s took home the boys MVP accolade.

Commenting about this tournament, Airtel’s Noela Byuma congratulated the winners and encouraged all the other teams to continue training for their comeback in the 2020 tournament.

“The talent that we have seen over the past three days has been a clear indicator for the need to continue investing in grassroots talent development. These youth are skilled, passionate and determined and these are the values that Airtel Rising Stars aims to develop as they go on to pursue professional careers in football,” she noted.

Since 2011, the Airtel Rising Stars grassroots football tournament has given talented boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 an opportunity to compete against fellow youth from across the country with hopes of being scouted to join the local league, football clubs all over the world and the Uganda national team. Today, the Uganda national men and women football teams both consist of a number of players who took part in this tournament.

Kampala Region has named thirty boys (30) and 30 girls who will prepare for the Airtel Rising Stars National finals due in early September.

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