After six months of training, drills, and preparation, the EK Firebirds, an all-women’s rugby club comprised of Emirates Cabin Crew coming from 14 different nationalities, is ready to compete at the 2018 edition of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens invitational women’s tournament.
The EK Firebirds team members come from rugby loving nations including the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as other diverse nations like Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Namibia, the Philippines and Nigeria – reflecting the multi-cultural Cabin Crew team at the airline and the global make up of Dubai. The team members have found time to practice and train during their busy travel rosters, and organise themselves to ensure that as many of them train together as possible, using the Sevens stadium, Zaabeel Park and other venues in Dubai as their training grounds.
The club started in 2012 with four Emirates Cabin Crew members taking a keen interest in playing rugby. Since then the team has grown to over 15 members, and it continues to actively recruit within the Emirates Cabin Crew community. The EK Firebirds developed from touch rugby to a fully practicing contact rugby 7’s club, and the club has participated in several tournaments. This is the first time that many of the EK Firebirds players will taking to the pitch for a rugby 7’s match at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens. The invitational tournament is held in conjunction with the World Rugby Men’s and Women’s Sevens World Series tournaments.
Last year the club became a member of the UAE Rugby Federation and since then they have played at the Women’s Gulf Rugby Tournament. During the tournament, the team’s first squad qualified to the finals at the Women’s Gulf Rugby Cup and the second team made it to the quarter finals. The young women continue to focus on improving their skills, knowledge of the game and conditioning their capabilities even further, and most importantly supporting each other as they pursue their passion for the game of rugby. In fact, Emirates’ diverse 23,000 strong Cabin Crew community includes hundreds of vocational backgrounds and talents spanning music, sports, medicine, law, engineering, teaching, amongst others.
The 2018 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens kicks off tomorrow at The Sevens Stadium. Now in its 49th year, it is set to be the largest event on record with over 930 rugby and netball matches across three days and enhanced entertainment for everyone. During the Dubai Sevens, Emirates will be bringing the Rugby World Cup and will be displaying it at its hospitality for guests and fans.
Along with activating its world-class hospitality and branding across the tournament, Emirates Cabin Crew will be handing out the airline’s signature children’s products and taking keepsake photos of younger fans with Emirates ‘Fly with Me’ mascots.
Bunyoro Amasaza Cup 2018 launched
CNOOC Uganda Limited, an oil and gas company, on Friday November 30th 2018 launched the 2018 Bunyoro Amasaza Cup. This marks seven years of the oil company’s support towards the tournament which attracts various counties in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.
The month-long tournament which commenced on Friday will attract Seven districts in the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom including Kiryandongo, Bulliisa, Hoima, Masindi and Kibaale, Hoima and Kikuube.
The opening match was graced by His Royal Majesty the King of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom; Dr. Solomon Gafabusa Iguru in Bullisa district.
“On behalf of the people of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, I would like to thank the management of CNOOC Uganda for their continued contributions to this region. The Amasaza Cup tournament has continued to promote unity among the Banyoro and this has, in turn, further strengthened our kingdom cultures,” commented His Royal Majesty the King of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom; Dr. Solomon Gafabusa Iguru.
On his part, Mr. Cui Yujun, CNOOC Vice President in charge of engineering said, “When we began operations in Bunyoro, we made a conscious commitment to be part of all-round growth in our area of operation. And over the years, we have seen this commitment come to life through various local programs. Sponsoring the Bunyoro Amasaza Cup for the seventh year is a demonstration of CNOOC Uganda’s dedication to the growth of sport in this region.”
Hoima Municipality edged Kigorobya 1- 0 in the opening match that was held at Sir Tito Winyi.
The Smack League to provide support to children with cancer
By Our Reporter
The Smack League(TSL) has announced a partnership with the Bless a Child Foundation( BCF), a non-governmental organization that provides care support services to children suffering from cancer and related infections. The partnership comes in fulfillment of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
TSL, spearheaded by the Devils (99-04), the League’s defending Champs identified with Brian Walusimbi, the founder of BCF and his work and started informal relations with them, assisting where they could and eventually culminating in this partnership. This partnership shall see BCF join TSL match days and support the Devils (99-04) who shall carry the BCF as their shirt sponsors in the League. BCF shall also play a few friendlies along season 3 with select TSL sides and the kids shall join the match day atmosphere to participate in football, jumping castle and other games, hosted by TSL.
TSL shall also as part of the partnership throw the children a Christmas party in the mid-season break where TSL shall hold a fundraising drive to source supplies for the home both domestic and food stuffs. On the agreed date members from TSL shall carry the items to the Kampala home and spend a day with the children at the home, this time hosted by BCF, share a meal and party, play kids games and have a front seat to see BCF’s work with many of the kids.
The partnership is initially for season 3 but there are plans to extend it to further seasons.
Uganda Athletics Federation predicts improved times at this year’s MTN Marathon
The change in the route of the 21kms half marathon and 42kms marathon for the MTN Kampala Marathon is predicted to improve the time put up by elite runners. According to the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), the new routes have reduced hills and also avoided high traffic areas that often play a role in the times put up by the athletes. The 15th edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon takes place this Sunday, 25th November 2018 starting at the Kololo Airstrip.
“We have ensured that the new route has fewer hills and with that, we expect to see some improved times put up during the MTN Kampala Marathon. Several athletes did come to us and explain that the route had many hills. We have listened to them and reduced the hills so now the expectation is improved time,” explains Faustino Kiwa, the Organising Secretary at UAF.
In the previous editions of the MTN Kampala Marathon, athletes have also had to go as far as Bwaise and the Northern Bypass. This has posed several logistical challenges for the organisers. This is in terms of security and ensuring that the traffic flow is managed for athletes to have a good running experience.
“For the 42kms runners, we are going to have a circuit. There is a section of 16.5kilometeres that the athletes will have to run twice. That is what we’ve called the circuit. For spectators, it is also an opportunity to see some of the runners twice since they’ll be going around part of the route twice,” Kiwa adds.
In 2017, the winner in the Men’s category Sammy Kip-Ngetich Kurgat from Kenya of the 42kms marathon completed it in 2hours 19 minutes and 5 seconds whereas Kimaiyo Rael Jepyator from Kenya won the Women’s category in 1 hour 58 minutes and 14 seconds.
Kiwa also noted that there will be a 20 minute split in the start time, with the 42kms runners flagged off first, followed by the 21kms runners.
For the 10kms runners, the route remains the same. According to MTN Uganda, the proceeds for the MTN Kampala Marathon are going to support the improvement of maternal health.
Kit collection and physical registration are also ongoing at MTN Headquarters at the former BAT building, Stanbic Garden City, William Street, MTN Service Centres along Kampala Road, Lugogo Mall, Clock Tower, Forest Mall, and Victoria Mall in Entebbe. Physical registration will cost Shs25,000 per kit and will be ongoing until 23rd November 2018.
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