Belgian water polo coach Gram Gil believes if everything goes to plan, Uganda can play in the water polo competition at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Uganda has only started embarking on the development of water polo as an aquatic sport yet the Olympics are just over two years away. Therefore in every way, Gil’s dream looks overly ambitious.
“Gil had a dream that Uganda will be at Tokyo 2020. And why not? Some of you could be players with three of you as coaches,” South African coach Brad Rowe told over 31 swimming coaches that were involved a weeklong training at Greenhill Academy, Kibuli.
There is reason to believe as over 60 swimmers have embraced the sport that Rowe advised they “should see as a fifth stroke rather than an alternative to the more popular swimming.”
Africa also has only one slot at the Olympics but over the years South Africa and Egypt, two African countries where the game is more advanced, have not been keen on taking up the place because the chances of beating European teams to medal places are negligible.
Yet Uganda should not worry about medals – at least not now or in the foreseeable future because for the game to grow here, players will need all the exposure.
“I am excited because in the beginning we thought having water polo here is over-ambitious. Now we even have bigger ambitions to have good teams and competitions,” Gil, who will be here another three years trying to develop the sport.
Water polo head William Buyondo, Gil – who has over 14 years experience of playing the game, and Eric Kisero – a coach at Altona will be tasked with increasing the player base, organizing competitions by July 2018 and assessing player progress once every two months.