Forces shoot to glory as Games kick off

Representatives of the UPDF, Police, UWA and and Prisons at the launch of the Games at Naguru. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

What you need to know:

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Tumusiime Katsigazi officially launched the Games on Friday at Police Headquarters in Naguru.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is hoping for a strong performance in range shooting as the Inter-Forces Games 2023 kick off at Kigo Shooting Range. Despite defeat in the previous event, UWA coach Raphael Kasaija expressed confidence, citing their historical prowess in range shooting.

During the launch of the two-week-long event at Uganda Police Headquarters in Naguru, Kasaija remained confident in his team’s ability.

"We have always been the best in range shooting, and I believe we will start this year's Games with a gold medal," Kasaija, a specialist athletics coach, said.

Shooting is the bread and butter of the forces and there will surely be very tough competition with no clear favourites.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Tumusiime Katsigazi officially launched the Games on Friday at Police Headquarters in Naguru.

The Games, designed to foster collaboration among various forces while promoting the talents of their personnel, will be hosted by the Uganda Police at the Police Training School Kabalye in Masindi District. Additional events will take place at Kigo and Boma Grounds in Masindi Town. Established in 2005, Kabalye, spanning 2 square miles, has a capacity to accommodate over 6,000 people.

The shooting competition will run until Friday, featuring practice sessions leading up to Thursday, followed by the official competition in all shooting categories. The competition will close on Friday before the teams depart for Masindi to participate in the remaining activities.

Kasaija highlighted UWA's strengths in athletics and darts.

"Unfortunately, we will miss two of our stars; Jacob Kiplimo and Nanyondo. Kiplimo has a race scheduled in Europe during the period, while Nanyondo is recovering from an injury," he said.

Despite calls for expansion, this year's Games will maintain their current format, featuring competitions in football, netball, handball, volleyball, Taekwondo, range shooting, and darts.

War of words

The reigning champions, the Uganda Police, fully prepared after securing victory in the 2022 edition hosted by UWA, are eager to face the challenge again.

“Uganda Police is more than ready for the Games. These are games that are meant to bring harmony among all the forces and a platform for recreation. Our teams are well prepared for the title defence,” Maj Gen Katsigazi, said.

In the 2022 edition, Uganda Prisons claimed the second position with three gold, five silver, and three bronze medals, while the UPDF were third with two gold, three silver, and four bronze medals. UWA came last in the competitions.

SCP Frank Baine, the Prisons spokesman said they are ready to step up.

“The Games have provided a pool of talented sportsmen for us in athletics, darts, handball, netball, and football. I am confident in the team to win the overall title," Baine said.

The Games have served as a platform for sports stars such as ASP Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, SSP Stephen Kiprotich, Ronald Musagala, Halima Nakaayi, Titus Tugume, Peruth Chemutai, Dorcus Inzikuru, and Jesca Achan, among others. 

Interforces Games 2023

Host: Uganda Police Force

Venues: Kigo Shooting Range, Boma Grounds Masindi, and PTS Kabalye.

Activities: Athletics, football, netball, taekwondo, range shooting, handball, darts, volleyball, and road race.

Participating forces: UPDF, Prisons, Police, UWA.

Competition schedule

Nov 18 to Friday Nov. 24: Shooting competitions

November 25: Athletics (Kabalye)

November 26: Netball, handball

November 27: Mini-marathon, football

November 28: Taekwondo, darts, handball, netball, football

November 29: Volleyball, handball, netball

November 30: Football

December 1: Closing ceremony, dinner, bull roasting, and football final game