Kampala. The France-Uganda friendship week is a seven-day long programme with activities in music, culture, gastronomy, wildlife and sports all with the aim of consecrating the relationship between the two countries.
It was inaugurated last year and when it came to sports, Uganda Cranes took on the French military side at Namboole stadium with the game ending 3-1 in favour of the home team. The friendship project for 2018 returns this week with rugby taking football’s place.
Uganda sevens rugby will be the main focus of the week in a year Uganda will make a bow at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in July in San Francisco, USA. The French army rugby side will visit Uganda to play and support the development of the sport in schools like Lubiri Secondary School where the game is yet to be established.
Uganda Rugby Union (URU) president Andrew Owor has welcomed the move as a blessing to local rugby and expects a lot of positives that should lead the game to a better place in the near future.
“It comes with an opportunity to develop the sport, especially the sevens programme in the country, because of the exposure our local players are going to get competing with the French side,” Owor told Sunday Monitor.
URU in conjunction with the French embassy have organized a sevens rugby tournament at Kyadondo on March 24 which will have the Rugby Sevens Cranes, franchise sides from Kyadondo and Legends, a sevens academy team and a select side from Eastern Uganda all taking part with a Shs2m prize at stake. A charity concert will climax the one-day tournament.
Owor has not ruled the possibility of the French connection paving way for Uganda rugby transforming into a professional sport. “You can never know. With time our players could officially travel to France for trials at clubs with the help of the French embassy without having to run away like it has been,” he observed.
The Eastern region has produced some of the best players in the country and the March 24 event will give them a chance of new exposure and probably lay ground for the unearthing of new talent.