She is the hottest prospect of Ugandan women cricket and after being recognised as the Best Cricket Player of December, Christine Anayo is motivated to do even more.
“I am surprised I am a star now. But this means that I even have to work more,” Anayo told Daily Monitor after receiving her award. The Fortebet Real Stars Awards were held at the Copper Chimney Restaurant in Lugogo yesterday.
Initially a footballer, she resumed cricket at Light Secondary School in Soroti to be able to reach her dreams.
The 18-year-old Light SS captain and Soroti Challengers All-Rounder, first got an individual award as the best bowler/fielder during the 2017 edition of Musana Cup in Soroti.
During the Uganda Women Elite League (UWEL) earlier this month in December, she was named Player of the Series with 18.4 points and the Best Bowler with 8 wickets while appearing for Aziz Damani Hurricanes.
Aziz Damani won the five-match series 3-1 as one game got washed out due to an unplayable outfield.
Anayo says even though the year was challenging with Covid-19 forcing competitions to be skipped, it is a pleasure to be singled out during one of the few tournaments that were played. “I can’t really describe the feeling of winning another award. This motivates me to keep trying to become the best I can,” Anayo said.
She says the teamwork at her team keeps challenging her to become the best. Her skipper at Soroti Challengers Janet Mbabazi was crowned the player of the year by sports journalists under their umbrella association, Uspa. The team also boasts of national team players like Kevin Awino, Evelyne Anyipo and Naome Kayondo. “With such players there is no way you can rest on your laurels because you are playing with the cream of the game. If I keep playing well my life will not be the same,” she adds.
KCCA FC junior player Oscar Mawa, who was top scorer during the Cecafa U-17 Challenge Cup in Rwanda, was crowned the best football player beating sensational Brian Aheebwa and Michael Lutaaya to the award. Mawa, a Senior Four Student of St Andrews Kaggwa Gombe High School Kawaala, said the award is a stepping stone to bigger things about to happen.
“We have already qualified for the Caf U17 Africa Cup where we have the opportunity to qualify for the World Cup. It is a big motivation for me to be recognised as a winner,” Mawa explained.
Kasozi on the rise
Amateur golfer Joseph Kasozi who was the best Ugandan performer during the Tusker Malt Lager Uganda Amateur Open at Kitante, scooped the golf prize. Kenya’ John Legirma was the overall winner.
“To be recognised off the golf course is an amazing feat and I will keep pushing myself,” Kasozi said.
The awards sponsored by Fortebet and Jude Colour Solutions were officiated by Joy Ruth Acheng, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Canada. She encouraged the government to prioritise sports. She prides in Mustafa Kizza, who plays for Montreal Impact in the Major League Soccer, as a good representative of Uganda’s football. “Sports is a big time business and with the contacts I have in Canada, we can even have more professionals abroad,” Acheng said.
REAL STARS AWARDS DECEMBER WINNERS
Football: Oscar Mawa
Cricket: Christine Anayo
Golf: Joseph Kasozi