Sunday June 29 2014

Students fighting to earn national team slots in schools’ tourney

Kakungulu Memorial’s Alex Babu in action on the opening day on Friday.

Kakungulu Memorial’s Alex Babu in action on the opening day on Friday. Photo BY JB SSENKUBUGE 



National team coach William Kabindi will use the Picfare-Nytil Schools Badminton Tournament that started on Friday at MTN Arena, Lugogo to identify players that will represent Uganda at the All Africa under-15 Badminton Championships. The continental championships will be hosted in Kampala from August 10-16. It will be Uganda’s first time to host the meet.

“This tournament has gone a long way in promoting grassroots programs and identifying talent,” Kabindi said. “But this year our goals are even bigger since we are hosting the Africa under-15 tourney.

“So we shall use it to identify the players that will represent Uganda and put them under intensive training for a month,” he added. The schools’ tournament that started in 1996 has brought through some of Uganda’s best bandminton talents like Edwin Ekiring, Shamim Bangi and Gilbert Ofoyuru, who is now a coach. Ofoyuru was the first champion of the tournament in 1996 when he won the under-18 category.

“I believe those that started the schools championship have achieved some of their goals and our work now is to continue with the same spirit,” remarked Ofoyuru.
The tournament is being contested in the under-10, under-13, under-15 and under-19 categories.

Kakungulu Memorial School will look to defend the boys’ trophy while ladies’ champion Rubaga Girls SS opted out of this year’s edition.