When the Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) Masters Championships started three years ago, no one could envision they would grow to be this competitive.
The idea was to have fun and spread the message of swimming as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Now the numbers are consistently, well over 70 at every meet with commendable qualities of swimming, especially in the 25-29 years age group, which has most of the swimmers that have broken ranks with competitive swimming.
At the 11th edition held on Saturday at Gem’s International School, Altona’s Sandra Arinaitwe threatened to dominate the women on the day winning all races. She topped the women’s 25-29 years age group with 133 points. Her form rubbed off onto teammates Albert Lumu, who topped the 35-39 years men with 148 points, and Irene Nabwire who equaled Tavi Riddle’s 40 points.
Riddle, 34, swum for the hosts. However, the indefatigable Kate Kizza, from Dolphins, collected the most points (180) by any swimmer as she topped the 45-49 women. Her teammates Shakirah Buhura (74) and Patience Birungi (160) were impressive too in the lead to topping the 35-39 years and 40-44 years women respectively.
Kate’s husband Godfrey also topped the men in the 45-49 years age group. This age group contained one of the most dominant swimmers on the day, USF president Dr Donald Rukare.
Dr Rukare, who is part of a new team called Formidables, came top in all of his races but could not top the category because he did fewer races. For their first competition, the Formidables participated under Dolphins despite training independently in Ntinda.
“This is our first event and we just came to gauge ourselves against the competition. We have been swimming for leisure but we shall now go back and see how we can become a little more serious,” Formidables captain Godfrey Kihuguru, who came top in the men’s 55-59 years category, said.