It is unfortunate the She Cranes, Uganda’s representatives at the ongoing 14-nation Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, have been shown the exit.
It is worth mention that these gallant daughters have put up a spirited fight, crushing seventh-seeded Fiji and a better prepared and experienced Zambia which has qualified for the global showpiece twice, in recent times.
Indeed, given the preparations carried out by our team, Ugandans should be proud that there is a glimmer of hope in the She Cranes who, just a few months ago, were incognito in the netballing world.
But there is something disturbing about the She Cranes 2015 campaign that has now come to an end; the surprise firing of Coach Fred Mugerwa, a man who had ‘been in the trenches’ with the team for long.
Indeed, such last minute claims that Mugerwa was ‘indisciplined’ when he criticised the refereeing standards at the Six Nations Challenge in South Africa carry the hallmarks of diversion, aimed at disorganizing the She Cranes ahead of the crucial games where the Ugandan players’ prowess had kept their opponents’ lips wagging in awe.
That notwithstanding, sports in Uganda needs to be accorded a high priority platform because it plays an important role in popularizing the country.
Secondly, there is no activity that helps unite Ugandans like sports and this was evidenced by the cheering numbers that swarmed television sets in various bufunda,as our girls took to the courts in Sydney.
But it was also flabbergasting when President Yoweri Museveni weighed in and delivered US$23,000 to the girls!
The gesture by the President is quite telling more so given that the country’s sportsmen and women have always struggled to keep the Uganda flag flying albeit with little recognition.
That said, the She Cranes deserve our salutations.