Uganda Men’s Netball team eyes World Championship after finishing second in South Africa
Written by Derrick Asaba on September 21, 2021
The Uganda men’s netball team, The Rock, ended second at their first International Men’s Netball Tournament that saw revelation on Saturday at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria, South Africa.
The Rock beat Kenya and two other South African clubs which included Action Sport and DCS, before it was beaten by the South African team which eventually emerged victors of the event.
The Uganda team reached the final stage after winning their last two group games against neighbors Kenya and Action Radler club respectively to finish second in the group.
Uganda registered a 47-27 win over Kenya and also won with a 58-34 victory against Action Radler. This made The Rock to walk out of the tournament with five wins.
Ugandan defender Gonzaga Kigozi was declared the best defender after a weeklong tournament and won a commemorative inscription at the tournament.
This was Uganda’s first engagement in the men’s Netball since 2008 when the U-21 team participated in the U-21 championship in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Head coach Vincent Kiwanuka says his team has learnt a lot from the competition and he is confident that continuous participation in such events will strengthen the team.
“Our competitors have been tough and before we even played the finals, many of my players were already suffering from injuries. However, this calls for more hard work and improving our fitness levels. We have performed well and I thank my players for that. If we keep on participating in such events, our team will grow stronger,” Kiwanuka told the press.
The team that traveled to South Africa included Jesse Asiimwe, Hassan Kato, Andrew Waswa, Santino Manduti, Disan Waswa, Frank Kimbowa, George Waiswa, Nelson Bogere, Joseph Kasule, Stephen Oryem, Kigozi Gonzaga, Muzahura Wilberforce, Juma Katumba, Richard Epa, and Bonny Ssekyondwa.
Uganda is now readying for the Inaugural Africa Male Netball Championship that is slated to take place in March 2022 in Morocco.
About The Rock
According to the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) president Sarah Babirye Kityo, The Rock was a name chosen because of its rich meaning that roots from the motto.
By promoting men’s netball through teams gracing international competitions, Babirye hopes that the sport will be included in the Olympics.
“Netball is not played at the Olympics because most countries look at it as a single gender sport. We hope that men’s netball can make netball get acceptance at the Olympics,” Babirye was quoted by the Uganda Radio Network.
Uganda received an invitation to take part in the September 2021 International Netball Championship from the South Africa Netball body.
The Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) then agreed to send a team for the competition and went ahead to summon a 26-man squad which always trained at Kampala University.
The Uganda team is expected to return home today.