By D’zyre Derekford Mugumisa
All is set as Makerere University teams prepare to represent Uganda at the 2018 Eastern Africa University Games. The games are slated for Sunday, December 16 to Friday, December 21 in Tanzania.
Basketball will be one of the team sports in which Makerere University will compete, with 10 boys and 10 girls taking to the road on Friday night, through the Mutukula border.
The ladies’ team comprises players such as Lucy Kagere, Leticia Awor, Ruth Amoding and Rose Basemera, with Sunday Morgan Lukwaya and Jacob Osito among those making the cut for the boys’ team.
Speaking to Watchdog Uganda at what she cheekily termed as ‘the last supper’, ahead of travel, Kagere said, “I am excited,” adding that, “…because it is the first tournament of its kind I have been to. We are looking to at least reach the semi-finals.”
Ten universities in total will turn up at the University of Dodoma-hosted games to represent Uganda, with defending champions, Ndejje University, set to do without the services of their star runner, Sadiq Bahati, who is out injured. They, however, will have full representation in basketball and handball as well.
With Woodball, a sport that found an African birthplace in Uganda, expectations are high that the medals will all come home, at least according to Ndejje University Woodball captain, Geoffrey Towong, who was speaking to local broadcaster, NTV Uganda.
“In Uganda, we have so far celebrated 10 years of Woodball existence, and competition within Uganda is stiff, unlike in Kenya or Tanzania. We are much better than them.”
The Eastern Africa University Games, awarded on a rotational basis within member states (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan, Djibouti & Eritrea), are a biennial event that was founded in 1999 by the East Africa University Sports Federation in a bid to play their part in regional integration.
Makerere University are the record champions of the games, having garnered six times, having won all editions from 2000 to 2010. Egerton University from Kenya are the only non-Ugandan university to ever win them, having won the inaugural edition.
Ndejje University have won the last two editions, and will be looking to win a third straight time. A haul of 94 medals; 36 Gold, 28 Silver & 30 Bronze was enough to seal their 2016 victory.
Over 50 universities are set to take part in the games this year. The last edition was held in December, 2016, hosted by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology in Kenya.
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