Kukundakwe needs Shs33m to keep Paralympic dream alive

Monday March 15 2021
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Needs help: Kukundakwe. PHOTO/COURTESY.

By Makhtum Muziransa

Para-swimmer Husnah Kukundakwe is in a race against time as she needs Shs33m to make it to the April 3-11 World Series in Sheffield, England.

The Series offers a final chance for the 14-year-old swimmer to qualify on merit for the 2020 Paralympics due in Tokyo in July.

Kukundakwe is slated to compete in the 100m and 50m freestyle events in the S9 class, 100m breaststroke (SB8) and 200m individual medley (SM9), a race she last did at the World Series in Nairobi in 2018 clocking 4min, 0. 03sec.

Her best chances for merit qualification fall in the breaststroke event, where she has drastically cut the 1min, 57.44sec she clocked at the World Series in Singapore in 2019 to 1min, 36.95sec in her recent trials.

“The qualification time is 1min, 37.00sec and with all factors constant, we are 90 percent sure she will make it,” her mother and manager Hashima Batamuriza said.

History on the cards
If she hits the mark, Kukundakwe will become the first Ugandan para-swimmer to qualify on merit for the Games and the second after Prossy Tusabe, who went to Sydney 2000 and competed in the S10’s 100m freestyle posting 2mins, 12.45sec.

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Should she not make the grade, Kukundakwe’s participation in London will then add meat to her case if she decides to exploit the Bipartite Commission Invitation, where only five swimmers per gender will be invited by International Paralympics Committee to take part in the August Games. 

However, to bring the best out of the swimmer, Kukundakwe’s manager hopes they will be able to travel with their coach Muzafaru Muwanguzi, whose presence in London in late 2019 helped the athlete perform much better than Singapore, where they only travelled as mother and daughter. 

“We are in a tricky position because we need the coach. But also as a minor girl-child, she cannot go with only a male coach,” Batamuriza, who can be reached on her numbers 0772/702 – 323834, said.
That means the trio will need Shs12m for their air tickets, and additional Shs15m for accommodation at a hotel the organisers have selected for all participants and their caretakers.
The remaining Shs6m should take care of event fees, visa, Covid-19 tests and other expenses.

mmuziransa@ug.nationmedia.com

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