KCCA FC were on Thursday night crowned as the July’s Nile Special - Uspa personalities of the month after winning their first Cecafa Kagame Club Championship in 31 years.
KCCA had won the trophy in 1978 but were a no show in the following years. Yet the club’s growing profile coupled with outstanding performances during this year’s championship held in Kigali, saw the Ugandan champions beat Azam 1-0 to scoop the title.
Represented by team manager Mike Mutebi, CEO Anisha Muhoozi and five players, KCCA picked their gong during a dinner at Imperial Royale Hotel where Uganda’s golden boy Joshua Cheptegei and world champion Halima Nakaayi were recognised in absentia.
Cheptegei, who won the 5000m race in the IAAF Diamond League final in the Swiss city of Zurich with a personal best record of 12:57:41, beat David Ssemujju and Isaac Masembe, both silver medallists at the All Africa Games in Rabat, to the award that comes with a cash token of Shs500,000.
Nakaayi was unanimously voted as the best of September for winning gold the women’s 800 meters at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha after recording a personal best of 1:58.04.
Mutebi emphasised the role awards play in motivating players and teams. “This is a standard that keeps making people improve and we are grateful as KCCA for this recognition. Few people believed in our youth strategy but I am happy it has paid off to earn the club this prestigious award,” Mutebi said.
Uspa president Patrick Kanyomozi said of the difficulty the scribes had in awarding the previous awards amidst medal hauls by Uganda athletes. In August, teenage sensational swimmer Kirabo Namutebi, set a new national record in the 50m freestyle race in Hungary. The following month, the 14-year-old, won Uganda’s first gold at Cana in Tunisia.
“We are aware of what winning means but we always consider the best,” Kanyomozi said.