The relief was evident when Uganda Christian University (UCU) started off the Association of Uganda University Sports (AUUS) Games with a 3-1 win over hosts Ndejje in volleyball yesterday.
UCU, who finished second at the 16th edition held two years ago at Busoga University, are certainly one of the main challengers to Ndejje’s overall crown. And the Mukono-based institution will only participate in competitions where they are certain of clinching gold.
Coach Nason Bwesigye believes that if any institution is to break the Ndejje dominance, the intention must be shown early.
“For us it is important to start off by beating the hosts and in my eyes, the biggest competition we can face in our pool,” Bwesigye said.
“As a university, we voted over which sports we are confident of fetching gold and starting this way is a big boost to the team,” he added.
For Ndejje it was not the anticipated start but coach Johnson Kawalya expects the team to bounce back.
“We changed a lot from the team that plays in the league. We needed a bit of competition and we think we can build on the positives. Our reception was fine but we can block better going forward because we have a relatively better team,” Kawalya said.
That wasn’t the only false start for the hosts as they also lost 1-2 to St Lawrence in men’s football.
Bwesigye’s football counterpart Tony Membe probably had the herculean task of the day; to stop women’s defending champions Kampala University (KU) in a mid morning encounter.
After a cagey first half, Hasifa Nassuna’s freekick from over 30 yards was enough to win maximum points for UCU midway through the second stanza.
“We are here to send a message not only to the rest of the country but also within. Everyone expects us to win gold and we have started well,” Membe said.
KU will now need some luck from other competitors to stop UCU and coach Michael Kalyesubula is confident the charm will come.