Goalball to be added to varsity games menu

Salano wants the East Africa University games to be more inclusive. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

What you need to know:

Goalball is the most popular blind team sport designed specifically for athletes with a vision impairment.

Bonkas Salano, the vice president of the Eastern Africa University Sports Federation (FEAUS), said university games cannot lose its "inclusiveness".

Salano, who is in charge of technical affairs, was speaking at a function at Ndejje University to approve and release the games rules and Regulations.

Speaking about the games that will be hosted this year Salano said that "we cannot afford not to have goalball". Rollball, a unique combination of roller skates, basketball, handball, and throwball, is already out of the games set up.

The games program includes: athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, football, table tennis, hockey, tennis, volleyball, handball, swimming, taekwondo and karate in both genders. Woodball, sitting volleyball, netball, rugby as well as scrabble.

Florence Nakamya the head of the secretariat explained that they are making the games more inclusive with sitting volleyball but Salano said “that was not enough”.

Goalball is the most popular blind team sport designed specifically for athletes with a vision impairment.

“Goalball has been part of the games program for the past two editions and we must have it this time. To us it the inclusion of these blind students who deserve to be part of the fun at the games that matter,” Salano said.

But this late addition, which was approved by mostly Kenyan universities, has implications.

Dr Fredrick Kakembo the Ndejje University deputy vice chancellor, who is the head of the local organising committee noted it calls for more facilities and processing of awards and medals.

Makerere University is the only known institution in Uganda with a goalball team.

The sport has had institutional challenges as it was identified under the Paralympic Committee until it was registered as an independent federation at the National Council of Sports recently. It is yet to become a member of the local football governing body, Fufa. 

Games timelines

September 28 - Quantitative entries on the portal.

October 20 - Pre-Games symposium at Imperial Royale Hotel

Oct 21 - Technical delegates meeting at Ndejje University Main Campus to release general program.

November 18 - deadline to submit teams

December 2 - Announcement of fixtures

December 15 - Arrival of teams

December 17 - opening ceremony

December 21 - closing ceremony and awards.

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