Hockey players up for 'Score A Tree' challenge

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Stewart Kavuma of KHC Stallions turns away from KHC Originals' Stewart Barigye. The KHC men's sides have so far scored 101 goals this term. PHOTO/ ISMAIL KEZAALA 

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Meanwhile, the 2022 league is almost 75 percent played and the nine-team men's category has seen 420 goals scored while the seven-team women's group has seen 172 goals scored

Hockey players have a new value attached to their goals thanks to a relationship that started in 2018 and has now gone symbiotic.


For every goal scored in the Uganda Baati Hockey League, their title sponsors and mother association Uganda Hockey Association (UHA) will plant a tree on the five hectare piece of land in Mabira granted to the bodies by National Forestry Authority (NFA) in a project dubbed 'Score A Tree.'


"I believe the target of one million trees is beatable over a period of time, say five years," one of the current men's season's top scorers Richard Ssemwogerere (15 goals), of Kampala Hockey Club Stallions, said.


The women's perennial top scorer Doreen Mbabazi, with 20 goals in 10 matches, urged everyone to score more as "anybody can top the charts."


Uganda Baati, which has supported several UHA activities including the Africa Cup of Nations in January, will inject Shs15m in the league this year. UHA's biggest expense is usually facilitation of game day officials.


"We are happy to continue our partnership with UHA and pride ourselves in supporting a sport that is formidable among youth," Uganda Baati's Head of External and Corporate Affairs Ian Rumanyika, said.


Rallying cry

"As part of the manufacturing industry, we are alive to the fact that climate change is real and need to champion the reduction of carbon emissions.


We call upon other companies, especially in the steel sector - which contributes eight (8) percent of these emissions - to come on board. NFA has been generous to us and we hope the players will be accountable in scoring more goals as our interest is to plant as many trees as possible," Rumanyika added as he highlighted that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent in 10 years and also that Uganda loses three percent of its forest cover per year.


Meanwhile, the 2022 league is almost 75 percent played and the nine-team men's category has seen 420 goals scored while the seven-team women's group has seen 172 goals scored.


SCORE A TREE

The numbers

1 - A target to plant one million trees 

4 - UHA and Uganda Baati have been partners for four years since 2018

5 - NFA has offered UHA and Uganda Baati five hectares of land in Mabira Forest on which to plant the trees

15 - Uganda Baati will inject Shs15m in National Hockey League this year

172 - The women have scored 172 goals in 10 of their 14 rounds this year

420 - The men have scored 420 goals in 13 of their 16 rounds this year

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