Netball: NIC just too good for the rest of East Africa

Unstoppable. Shooter Nanyonga was in top shape for an indomitable NIC and the fans loved the results. PHOTOS/ISMAIL KEZAALA

What you need to know:

  • Unmatched. After sealing a record-extending 22nd domestic league title, NIC went unbeaten in the East African Netball Championship for their 20th regional crown to leave the rest of the teams in their wake.

National Insurance Corporation (NIC) is one of the native netball clubs in the Ugandan league that has maintained a steady   winning streak in all the local competitions. 

The club has proved superior not only in Uganda but also on the East African level.
NIC emerged unbeaten in the recently concluded East African Netball Club Championships to win their 20th trophy, at the event that was graced by nine clubs from Uganda, Tanzania and Zanzibar.

This came after winning their 22nd national netball league trophy two months ago. The club also boasts of 26 National Rally trophies and two fast five championships – all local competitions.

They beat KVZ, Tamisemi, Uganda Prisons and Uhamiagi in the group B fixtures before playing against Tamisemi at the semi-finals.

The much anticipated final was between NIC and KCCA that prior to the competition had shown intent to overthrow the Ugandan giants, going by their two draws in the national league.

However, NIC showed their superiority and managed an overwhelming win of 44-35 against the Ugandan counterparts who were looking forward to their first regional trophy.

This shows the overwhelming effort and importance the club has always linked to winning competitions.
The club brags about a winning habit, but this has not gone without criticism from their opponents who accuse their players of being aggressive and going physical on court which has gone unnoticed by umpires.

Blend of experience

Coach Vincent Kiwanuka strongly refutes the accusations saying their triumphs emerge from hard work as well as having experienced players who have greed for victory.

“My players have experience and competitive hearts. The team bosses also take care of players hence our exceptional performance,” he said.

The likes of shooters Stella Oyella, Rachael Nanyonga, defenders Desire Obua, Maureen Nankya, Florence Adunia, Joan Nampungu, among others, are those that have had the longest spell with the team.

Some of these have also had playing time on the She Cranes team.

These come with a lot of intimidation and always command respect from their opponents.

The team has not ceased recruiting youngsters who have been mentored by the senior players.

At the regional competition youngsters including centre player Margaret Bagala, Sarah Nakiyonga, Stella Nyadoi, Penlop Amiya, Nasim Mutesi and Victoria Nantumbwe were outstanding and on many occasions came in to replace their seniors which guaranteed the team’s future.

It should be noted that the club won the two inaugural East African Netball Club championships in 1996 and 1997 and lost it to Tanzania’s Jeshi in 1998.

They went on to win eight consecutive trophies till 2007 when they were stopped by Jeshi.

The club further won eight successive championships up to 2016 when Uganda Prisons registered their first triumph. The Prisons side continued to win the championship in 2017 and 2018 to make three trophies.
NIC retained their championship in 2019 before Covid-19 set in to put the competition on hold in 2020 and 2021.


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