Proscovia relishes life in the UK

Saturday April 11 2015

Peace Agondua Proscovia

Peace Agondua Proscovia is now at Loughborough where she was given a four-month contract that ends this month. Photo by Ismail Kezaala. 

By Peace Agondua Proscovia

Peace Agondua Proscovia has a reason to be happy at present. By playing for English netball side Loughborough Lightning, the lanky star is living every local netballer’s dream to have a shot at professional netball.

The national team, She Cranes’ captain has been at her employers’ for morethan two months but she already feels at home, thanks to her teammates, especially Lightning vice-captain Laurent Steadman and her personal manager Jocelyn Ucanda.

“Life (in Uganda and England) is the same for me except that I had to adjust to the culture here. People are so principled, straight forward when they talk and time cautious,” Proscovia shares. She left Uganda just after the festive period to pursue a four months’ contract at the netball club.

How it started
As a Primary Four pupil who had fallen in love with the sport at Awindiri Primary School in Arua, Agondua wasn’t allowed to play netball because she was taller than her friends.

In 2004, two years after she had joined as a Senior One student at Mvara SS in Arua, Agondua finally got a chance to represent her school. She did well as Mvara beat Arua SS.

Three years (2007) later, at the National Post Primary games in Iganga, Agondua was convinced by National Insurance Council’s (NIC) assistant secretary, Ruth Rwakabare to join the club which she dully did in 2008.

“It was my first time in Kampala and I stayed with my cousin Emmanuel Drajole Alioni for four months. I then joined Nkumba University for my diploma”.

Getting into basketball
In 2008, while watching a basketball game between Mozambique and Uganda in Lugogo, Joy Olinga managed to woo Agondua into the sport of hoops and baskets. She joined Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Leopards.

“I had no skill but still they had the belief that I can make it,” she revealed. “They kept saying; this girl has the height and the potential.”

However, a niggling injury last year could have ended Agondua’s career in both games. Though she declines to talk about the dark times preferring to focus on the positives. She missed the national basketball playoffs. Leopards beat UCU to clinch the title in December.

Life at Loughborough
“Thanks to the management of Uganda basketball national team that paid morethan Shs2m for my treatment and visa plus insurance before I travelled to the UK.”

Agondua nicknamed ‘Warid Tower’, for her height, by peers back home saves the loudest plaudits for NIC, who double as her employers.

“I was inspired by the NIC management who gave me the chance to come here. That is why I’m doing my best. I’m playing with an open mind.

“They allowed me a four months leave from my job as marketing officer when I presented the offer from Loughborough. Resigning is a risk but they didn’t let me go through it,” she shares.

Despite a rough start to the Super League season for Lightning, who have lost four of their six games, Agondua is a fans favourite.

Her dedicated performance has seen her scoop the Player of the Match award twice on the bounce as she guided Lightning to their first two wins of the season. The banners reading; ‘we love Peace’, are also making their way to their courtsides.

“Those cheers in the stands make one feel loved and they motivate you to do the unexpected. You can’t afford to shame people who are cheering you like that,” Proscovia explained.

‘Every good thing comes to an end’, so the old adage goes. At the end of April, the goal shooter’s four-month contract in Loughborough comes to an end.

“I can’t comment on that (if she will sign a renewal) now. We shall cross that bridge when we get there”.

For now, Agondua is thinking about getting her basketball career on track after over two months of concentrating only on netball.

“I will try to train once or twice every week. We have good facilities for all games here and the basketball team is also strong”.

The worry for most Ugandans was whether the She Cranes and Gazelles player would be available to represent both national teams for netball world cup, All Africa Games and the Afrobasket Championships in just a period of 58 days stretching from August 7 to October 3.

“They (Lightning) are aware of it (the dates) and very excited. This is a university that supports sports a lot”.

Proscovia comes from a humble family in Arua. She has six siblings and is yet to start a family of her own due to her dedication to sports.

“I’m not in a relationship because at this point in life no man is willing to have a woman that has no time for him and is always moving. I believe God has a reason for everything and at His own timing He will bring the person meant for me.”

Peace Proscovia
Age: 25 (Born November 1, 1989)
Netball Club: Loughborough Lightning
Local Club: National Insurance Corporation
Position: Goal Shooter
Career High: Qualifying for the Netball World Cup
Career Low: Missing playoffs last year through injury
Basketball Club: KCCA Leopards
Position: Center
Other Sports: Handball and Athletics (field events) but only during university games
Academics: Bachelors degree in Business Administration, Uganda Christian University Mukono (2010-2013)
Diploma in Development Studies, Nkumba University (2008-2010)
O and A level at Mvara SS, Arua
PLE at Awindiri Primary School, Arua

Match schedules
August 7 -16 Netball World Cup in Australia
September 3 – 14 All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville
September 24 – October 3 Afrobasket in Cameroon