The cricket fraternity particularly Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) is in awe after it won the Cricket For Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year Award yesterday.
UCA was announced the winner of the accolade via the International Cricket Council (ICC) digital platforms by Proteas’ player Dane van Niekerk thanks to their Covid-19 relief programme.
“We very much appreciate this award and we are proud of what we do,” UCA chairman Bashir Ansasiira reacted in the video.
“We did not expect (it), we were doing out of our usual norm of doing what we think is best, trying to support the ICC vision of spreading the game.”
After sports activity in Uganda was put on halt last year, UCA stretched out its giving hand with cash stipends to national 20 men and 10 women teams’ players in April.
Then 100 game teachers who teach cricket and their families were empowered and by November, about 1500 people had received aid from UCA, this including disadvantaged families around Lugogo and UCA development areas in Soroti, Jinja, Kasese and Entebbe.
“We took it as an opportunity to give back to the people to spread the game. This went well with the cricketing fraternity but little did we know that it would touch the hearts of the entire globe,” added Ansasiira.
The India Association of Uganda pitched in early on with food and essentials, before the cricket fraternity also came together to raise funds for some of the vulnerable people.
Reaching all those in need, in the face of serious health risks, was a massive challenge, but the fraternity has made it through. Hearing back from beneficiaries, be it a national player or a 60-year-old widow fending for a family of four, has made it all worthwhile.
In the long term, according to Martin Ondeko, UCA CEO, the relief programme showcases the values the Association holds dear. “It creates a positive image for the current and future sponsors, as they are glad to associate with Uganda Cricket Association,” he explained.