The national men’s netball team, The Rock, will tomorrow start their International Men’s Netball Championship hunt against Zimbabwe and hosts South Africa.
The team of 12 players and six officials set off for South Africa on Saturday aboard Uganda Airlines.
Apart from competing for the trophy, coach Vincent Kiwanuka says the competition will test the players’ abilities and help them to practise what they teach others because most of them are coaches at different local clubs and schools.
The most decorated of them is UCU netball coach Nelson Bogere. Bogere has been a coach player helping Kiwanuka to shape fellow players in the camp.
Bogere picks his chips
Bogere, 42, the oldest on the team is neither captain nor coach but a commendable mid courter who is expected to do wonders in one of the tournaments that he says will help him to accomplish what he started – men’s netball.
Bogere and Kiwanuka are among the pioneers of men’s netball in Uganda and seeing it progress to playing at an international tournament is a big achievement for the duo.
“It wasn’t my wish to play because we have so many young players but I was advised to at least finish what we started because men’s netball has come from very far. Well, it feels good for everyone to represent their country,” Bogere told Daily Monitor.
Just like the rest, Bogere expects a tough contest at the tournament but he says they have trained well enough to overcome all fears.
“I don’t know much about the teams except Kenya and South Africa but I know the men’s teams are very strong. I am expecting a strong competition but we are more than ready,” he added.
Team captain Nouredine Kato says Bogere’s presence cannot be underestimated as he is among the most wonderful players.
“His presence is a huge boost to the team because many netball players have passed through his hands, so his presence is of great value to our team,” he said.
As a player, Bogere represented his club WOB at the national league as well as playing at East African Club Championships in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
He trained as a coach and umpire and he has been at the helm of UCU for a long time keeping the side in the women’s league.
In 2017, Bogere helped the U-21, She Pearls, to eighth place finish at the Youth Netball World Cup. He also assisted Kiwanuka and Imelda Nyongesa to prepare the She Cranes for the 2019 Netball World Cup.
Bogere has a UK level two coaching certificate he obtained in 2019 after the World Cup.
AT A GLANCE
Name: Nelson James Bogere
Team: The Rock
Position: Centre/ Wing attack