UCU cements credentials to host 2014 regional inter-varsity games
Posted Thursday, December 19 2013 at 02:00
University Games: Sprinter Ivan Wesonga lit up Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono yesterday after beating fellow national sprinter Hamidu Bidusu from Ndejje to gold in the men’s 100m final. Mary Zawadi, another UCU student, won the women’s 100m gold. Ndejje, however, remain favourites for the overall Nusfu Games title after they beat Makerere to second in swimming.
The just-concluded GOtv Cecafa Cup in Nairobi was supposed to be used as a springboard for next month’s Africa Nations Championship (Chan) due in South Africa. Instead, the Cranes failed miserably in the striking department, with coach Micho Sredojovic settling for Hamis Kiiza, Daniel Sserunkuma and Emmanuel Okwi.
These three will not be eligible to represent Cranes at the tournament exclusive for locally-based players since they ply their trade as ‘professionals’.
The only tournament build-up that the strikers at Chan will get is from the real championship, a very sad situation.
Atleast that is not the case with Uganda Christian University (UCU) - the serene institution in Mukono – that is set to host the East Africa University Games in December 2014.
The institution is currently hosting their ‘Cecafa’ – the national Inter-University Games, which should provide all the questions and possible answers going into the regional games in order not to suffer from the Crane’s similar misjudgment.
With 11 months to the East Africa University Games, UCU could not have got any better rehearsal. And gauging by the first three days of the ongoing inter-varsity games, the Local Organising Committee must be nodding in the positives and looking for solutions to the challenges. The university has invested heavily in several exquisite facilities and there is nothing negative yet to be written about the general organisation at the moment.
With specific indoor games such as darts, table tennis and chess among others hosted in ‘makeshift rooms’, most of the other sports disciplines have found ready and warming facilities at UCU.
Two fully fledged football pitches – one of them newly constructed, complete with a running track and stands on one side - have so far hosted soccer matches and handball. Another one outside the campus has also hosted a couple of games while rugby has been held at the Namilyango College pitch.
Three basketball games are played concurrently on different courts, just as netball, volleyball, lawn tennis and badminton among others. UCU and the organisers, Nusfu, only have to exercise extra strictness on universities that fail to register in time (by form of payment) and those that pull out at the 11th hour to create the fixture mess that graced the games on the first day. But while the university has ticked most of the boxes facility-wise; and that is not to mention the fully fledged media centre, the major missing ingredient is a swimming pool.
The organisers have had to do with Kampala Parents School swimming pool for this edition, which should provide a stark reminder that the university is not ready in this department. There could not have been better hosts for the East Africa University Games next year but with 11 months to go, UCU need to construct an Olympic size swimming pool.
Cranes players’ money and maths
Moses Magogo’s communication last week regarding his plans for Fufa was not far off point. The Fufa boss detailed his strategy for youth competitions and what he thinks is right for women football. But he will realise he needs a no-holds-back endorsement from government if he is to get help especially to pay the Cranes coach. And that still has its own pending legalities.
However, what I found interesting was his denial that Cranes players had not been paid Shs25,000 in daily allowances during Cecafa “as earlier reported by the same persons who breed trouble where there is none.”
Facts first – it is true that each of the Cranes players was given $200 (Shs500,000) – for the entire duration of the tournament. Now the mathematics – Cecafa games ran from November 27 to December 12, with teams starting to arrive in Nairobi as early as five days before the tournament kicked off.
The allowances to the Cranes players were for the entire duration of the tournament. With the team arriving in Nairobi on November 25, the assumption was they would return home on December 13, a day after the final, a total of 19 days. This means that for each day, every player got Shs25,000. But unfortunately, they were knocked out in the quarterfinals, necessitating an early return home, and that is where Magogo and his people start losing their calculators.
To them, that the team was knocked out early means that the players never received Shs25,000 per day, but more since they returned home early.
But did the players refund the balance for the remaining days to the federation?