UOC boss Blick asks tennis body to invest in youngsters

Wednesday January 9 2019

Blick, Jjagwe, ex-UTTA chairman Francis

Blick, Jjagwe, ex-UTTA chairman Francis Mulinda and Mildred Ssennyondo share a light moment during a victory party at Lugogo. BY ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI 

By Abdul-Nasser Ssemugabi

KAMPALA- Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) boss William Blick commended the Uganda Table Tennis Association for embracing young players, and urged them to uphold the trend if the sport is to dream of a brighter future.

Rayan Ssekulima, Diouf Miiro, Muzafaru Samanya, John Madanda, Ivan Zandya, Ivy Nekessa, Amina Namaganda Irene Wotanabela were among the athletes who won medals at events across the border, while Uthuman Lukoye won gold at the Youth Para Sports Camp in October 2018 in South Korea.

“I’m happy to be here talking to kids,” Blick said at the ceremony that celebrated Uganda’s table tennis medalists at the UOC in Lugogo Monday evening.
“It’s important that UTTA invests in children because youngsters are the future of sports.”

Blick said that he is working closely on something with the ITTF president that will be unveiled in a big announcement coming soon.

He told the youngsters who included pupils and students: “I wish to see many of you at the 2022 Youth Olympics in Dakar, Senegal [the first to be hosted by Africa.

For the last three years, table tennis has been marred by administrative wrangles, with warring factions led by incumbent Robert Jjagwe and breakaway Douglas Kayondo claiming authority over the sport. Amid the political and legal ping-pong, Jjagwe sought refuge in the UOC while his rival Kayondo ran to the National Council of Sports.

But the game seems to be swinging in Jjagwe’s favour since court confirmed that the NCS erred in ousting him from office.

The national regulator is slowly accepting him again, and recently, Jjagwe said, NCS committed Shs9.6m which the UTTA used to clear the dues for equipment donated by the ITTF.

In the wake of sex abuse on athletes around the world, UOC general secretary Don Rukare, a practicing lawyer, urged the UTTA to adopt policies that protect children against any forms of abuse.