KAMPALA. Eleven-year-old Husinah Kukundakwe is easily one of the most popular swimmers in the country. Kukundakwe is a handicapped swimmer that has for about six years embraced the challenge of swimming with able bodied colleagues and she will look at last year’s USF (Uganda Swimming Federation) Midland National Primary Schools Gala as her big breakthrough.
Everyone at Green Hill – Kibuli that day, wanted to hear, first hand, the rousing story of the then 10 year old girl that participated in the 100 IM (2:04.54), 50m freestyle (49.55) events and represented Sir Apollo Schools in a number of relays.
And more where looking forward to the same when the fifth edition of the same gala happened at the same venue on Saturday. But to their dismay, Kukundakwe had to painfully and tearfully watch and cheer from the standards on as her school finished sixth at the event. Reason? Her mother Hashima Batamuriza’s decision to move Kukundakwe from Malta Swim Club to Dolphins last year did not go down well with the former’s coach Collins Wasswa Matovu.
“She did not train with us,” Matovu, who also doubles as Sir Apollo Kaggwa Schools coach, told Daily Monitor when asked why Kukundakwe did not make the team. In another interview he gave to NTV, Matovu said he was actually hurt that Kukundakwe, a swimmer he has nurtured, had to change clubs. Batamuriza, on the other hand, insisted she sought out Dolphins to maximize her daughter’s potential as they look forward to seeing her participate at the para-swimmers’ World Series in May in Singapore and August’s World Championships that were supposed to be hosted in Malaysia.
“In fact for us, what coach Matovu has done borders on discrimination. Husinah is under a specific training programme elsewhere and Matovu should have liaised with us to ensure she participated in the event,” said Batamuriza .