By Staff Writer
Which sports do you like the most – football, horseracing or something more offbeat like cricket?
The sports climate in Uganda seems to be a thrilling one this year. If you are into Betway basketball betting, we are sure you’ve already tried out betting on your favorite sports.
Fans and the sports fraternity have their own expectations as well. Here is a look at some of the sports leaders’ predictions in Uganda.
- Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON)
The 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will take place this summer in June. The new host for the tournament will be Egypt after Cameroon noted the last version of the competition. There are 24 teams which are looking to book a place in the top 16 and that includes Uganda.
The Cranes, which are the national team of Uganda, are looking to fly their flag high in this year’s tournament. In the last match, the Cranes performed quite well having topped their group with 13 points.
Sports leaders in Uganda believe that if the Cranes still play this years tournament with the same agility, they can lift the cup. In 2015 cranes managed to make it to the semi-finals of the AFCON. It was a significant achievement to them because it had taken them 38 years to reach the semi-finals.
- Olympic qualifiers.
Japan will be hosting the 2020 Olympics after fifty-six years of hosting the event. However, the XXXII Olympiad will be different from the last one because it will be more modernized. Uganda is looking to shine in the international scene, and the Olympics are part of the picture.
The government is taking the initiative to fund the sports sector. This will help various athletes who will participate in the Olympics to adequately prepare for the tournament.
For instance, the National High-Altitude Training Centre in Kapchorwa is undergoing some renovations a right place for the athletes to practice for the Olympics. If the sports sector keeps on getting the kind of support it is getting from the government then Uganda will be riding on a wave of success.
- The Netball World Cup.
The Netball World Cup is due later this year. It will be held in Liverpool, England. She Cranes are also looking to make their country proud. Currently, they are ranked seventh in the IRF World Rankings.
Although they will face a tough challenge having England, Scotland, and Samoa in the same group, the She Cranes are still optimistic they will win. Head Coach Rashid Mubitu is proud of his team especially after two of his players were selected to in the top leagues. Mary Nuba is currently playing for the professional league in the UK while the team’s captain Peace Proscovia is in Australia.
Uganda has one of the most active sports teams in the African continent. If things go as planned, then sports fans in Uganda will be smiling the whole year.
Thousands grace the Kabaka Run
By Our Reporter
On Sunday, thousands of people gathered at the Buganda Royal Palace in Mengo to participate in the 2019 Airtel Kabaka Run. The eager runners patiently awaited the flag off by the Kabaka of Buganda Ssabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II and at a few minutes past 7am, set off for the 5, 10 and 21 kilometers races that comprised the marathon.
Top Kingdom officials including the Royal Family, the Prime Minister of Buganda, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, local politicians, musicians and sponsors, attended the event.
Speaking at the run, the Kabaka of Buganda encouraged Ugandans to test for the Sickle Cells Disease and know their status which will help to curb the number of deaths associated to the disease.
Sponsored by Airtel Uganda in a partnership deal to sponsor four of the main Buganda Kingdom activities, the 2019 Kabaka Run registered a record-breaking attendance, estimated at over 55,000 runners and well-wishers who included the elderly, children and the disabled.
Also at the run was a tent pitched specifically for on-ground sickle cells testing which received and tested dozens of individuals.
“We felt it necessary to utilize the prestigious run to test the participants and their families and we are happy that they heeded to our call and came to get tested. Eliminating sickle cells starts with testing and knowing your condition,” Ms. Sumin Namaganda, the Airtel Uganda Public Relations Manager noted.
Last year, Airtel handed over UGX200, 000,000 for Sickle Cells Advocacy from the Kabaka Run and Namaganda is optimistic that this year, a lot more will be realized and many more lives impacted.
KCCA FC partners with MTN to give fans new payment option
By Our Reporter
MTN Uganda has entered into a partnership with Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club (KCCA FC) to use MoMoPay as a medium of purchase for match tickets, club merchandise and services.
KCCA FC fans and the general public can now pay for club merchandise and services at no extra cost, using MoMoPay. MTN recently launched MoMoPay, a cashless payment system whereby customers can pay for their goods and services at a MoMoPay agent, directly from their mobile money accounts.
Part of MTN’s partnership with KCCA FC is premised on the launch and promotion of MoMoPay as a medium through which fans can purchase tickets in advance to the club’s matches in the comfort of their various locations.
Speaking at partnership launch at the KCCA grounds in Kampala, Val Okecho the Corporate Communications Manager, MTN Uganda said that in addition to tickets, club fans and the general public can pay for KCCA FC services, goods and merchandise such as T-shirts and caps among others, using MoMoPay.
“More people today are embracing cashless payments. We are committed to simplifying financial transactions by enabling people to transact from wherever they are, at their convenience. And that is what MoMo Pay is all about,” said Okecho.
Okecho also noted that apart from having no service charge, MoMo Pay saves time as people can make payments at the touch of a button from their mobile phones.
Aggrey Ashaba, KCCA FC Club Chairman, welcomed the initiative: “MoMo pay will make it easy for our club fans and the general public to buy match tickets at their convenience. In MTN Uganda we have a reliable, innovative and technology driven partner for our football club,” Kitaka said.
Anisha Muhoozi, the KCCA FC CEO noted that MoMoPay was going to ease financial transactions at the club.
“Most of our fans have been using cash to purchase their tickets. But now MoMoPay is going to make it a lot easier since the transaction is completely free and they are not limited to the cash in their pockets,” Anisha said.
“We are pursuing our strategy to be a modern, technology driven club and this move will help us achieve this ultimate dream,” continued Anisha.
Uganda Tourism Board to boost tourism through the Uganda Golf Open Tour
By Our Reporter
In efforts to promote golf tourism as part of Uganda Tourism Board’s initiative to market tourism products and services in the country, Uganda Tourism Board entered into a partnership with the Uganda Golf Union (UGU) ahead of the Uganda Golf Open Championships set for later this year.
The partnership will see both Uganda Tourism Board and the Uganda Golf Union work to position Uganda as Africa’s premier golf tourism destination despite the external perceptions related to participation in the sport.
With more than 1000 people attached to different clubs across the nation, the Uganda Golf Open Tour will traverse the whole country and with this launch, this sets the highlight for the different routes that will be taken.
Claire Mugabi Marketing Manager Uganda Tourism Board in her remarks shared that the Uganda Golf Open Tours will not only ensure that tourists visiting the country enjoy the sport and the country’s golf turfs but also get to explore and experience the county’s different touristic destinations in the areas where the different highlighted golf clubs are found around the country.
“As one of the trends for the last decade around the world, growing investments in golf is for us an effort to increase the number of foreign visitors and enhance tourism revenue earned through this channel. Our promise to the union is single; we promise to support and encourage the golfers as they continue to promote destination Uganda, the pearl of Africa.”
Golf tourism brings in valuable revenue for host towns through the tourism value chain i.e. tour companies, hotel and accommodation service providers, restaurants and transport all get to benefit from the beautiful sport.
“While Mbale is going be our first stop on the 6th of April, the golfers and lovers of golf will have the opportunity to explore the beauty of this town. The Uganda Golf Open Tours are set to canvas nine different courses across Uganda for over six months and this will act as the tournament precursor for players. More importantly this will help revive upcountry golf venues.” Innocent Kihika president of the Uganda Golf Union.
“Golf is an experience. When one goes out of Kampala to play golf, you have to travel a day before. And then there is where to sleep, eat, then play, then eat, sleep and lounge. There is a lot beyond the course and here is why Uganda Tourism Board comes in.”
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