Muwanguzi gets going with Gators

Forging A New Partnership. Kabuye with coach Muwanguzi. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The coach recently broke ranks with his former club Dolphins and has now launched a new swim brand called Gators ahead of the Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) National Club Championships due next month.

Coach Muzafaru Muwanguzi has built a clear reputation as one of Uganda’s most progressive swimming trainers. The former swimmer is regularly trusted with leading national teams to regional, continental and international competitions.He has a long chain of results following him. He has coached Olympians like Jamila Lunkuse, Joshua Ekirikubinza, Atuhaire Ambala and Kirabo Namutebi - who is also a double African champion among others.

The coach recently broke ranks with his former club Dolphins and has now launched a new swim brand called Gators ahead of the Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) National Club Championships due next month.

Muwanguzi started Dolphins in 2006 but the club was registered as a company - limited by guarantee (owned by members) and without share capital - in 2015 thereby putting its affairs under the control of a board of directors appointed among members.

Last month, the coach accused the board of stifling operations and declared that he was taking back his club as chief executive office and technical director but the board fought him off. Eventually, both parties agreed to round table mediation but Muwanguzi says “the mediators noted that our differences are irreconcilable and recommended that we part ways.

Building anew

“I could have tried to pursue a legal way of determining the ownership of the club (Dolphins) but even if I won that battle, it would have taken a lot of time and energy. 

The best thing was for me to start a new club from scratch and my philosophy of coaching is more solid than ever. I commit to building something that will once again change Ugandan swimming for years to come,” Muwanguzi shared.

It is a huge turnaround for both parties because on two occasions before, Dolphins watched two breakaways but built on strongly with Muwanguzi at the helm. Now that he is gone, Dolphins must show they were more than just him while he must also show he can build something stronger.

Some of the country’s elite swimmers like Tendo Mukalazi, Adnan Kabuye, Namutebi and para-swimmer Husnah Kukundakwe have not been shy to declare their moves to Gators on social media. They actually suggested the name Gators through a vote.

"We are already in full gear training and have a full program with; a swim team, learn to swim, masters and adaptive swimming," Muwanguzi told Daily Monitor.

"As of now we have moved with 40 swimmers but I expect another 10 based in Nairobi to join us for the Nationals.

We are still recruiting coaches too and we are also in the process of registering with the federation and acquiring all necessary paper work to operate in time for the Nationals, Commonwealth Games and World Championships."

Double hit
Muwanguzi also seems to have hit the jackpot by bringing on board one of the country's most experienced coaches Abel Ddamulira to head the age group team.

"Abel just led the national team at the Cana Zone IV Championships and he will be in charge of developing and setting the foundation for our swimmers."

The next step will involve Gators, who are currently training at Hotel Africana, moving to a new home in Ntinda.

"There is a new facility called Elite Gym and Swim that has been offered to us by one of our parents and we hope to call it home.

It is a beautiful 25m pool with six lanes and it is fitted with starting blocks plus a well equipped gym. There is still work to finish but when it is complete, hopefully by the end of the month, it will take us to the next level," Muwanguzi said.

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