She Cranes up for a tougher challenge in Netball Fast Five

The She Cranes were flagged off by Minister of State for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang and NCS chairman Ambrose Tashobya. PHOTO/COURTESY

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The team  was flagged off by the State Minister for Sports Peter Ogwang on Sunday after three weeks of training at Kamwokya to acclimatise with the sport.

The Uganda national netball team the She Cranes are in Christ Church, New Zealand from where they will be taking part in their first edition of the Fast Five version of the sport from November 5-6.
The team  was flagged off by the State Minister for Sports Peter Ogwang on Sunday after three weeks of training at Kamwokya to acclimatise with the sport.
This  version of netball which is new to Ugandan players was started in 2008  to make games faster and more television-friendly and the first international series were held in 2009.
This  has been played by the top six national netball teams in the International Netball Federation rankings.
Uganda being sixth placed in the world will play against England, New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica and South Africa in the competition.
Unlike the original version with seven players, in the Fast Five the wing defender and wing  attacker are eliminated leaving five players on court including the centre player, goal defender and attacker, goal keeper and shooter.
Each quarter of the game lasts six minutes compared with the 15 minutes  in the normal international netball competition among other rules.
Ugandan players say they have watched numerous videos on how the version is played and have improved their speed in the three weeks of training, hence they will be able to perform well despite the experience and vigor of their opponents.
They also believe competition against  the world’s best is a perfect preparation for the Netball World Cup due next year in South Africa.
“Our coaches have done their part, they have taught us all the game rules and we have managed to improve our speed. We are ready for the challenge ahead. This will also help us to better ourselves as we look forward to the World Cup,” said team captain Joan Nampungu.
Meanwhile Minister Ogwang thanked the She Cranes for an excellent performance at the Commonwealth Games this year. The team finished fifth among 12 countries that took part in the competition.
He also called upon the team to do even better before promising each player Shs20m as a token of appreciation, a visit to the First Lady for a handshake and overwhelming support in the Netball World Cup preparations.
"Netball is among our top priority sports. You have performed beyond expectation and nobody should underestimate you. I want to pledge  on behalf of the government that we are going to provide you with all the support you need for the forthcoming World Cup because you have ticked all the boxes,” he said.

Centre players
Norah Lunkuse
Maggie Bagala

Joan Nampungu
Sandra Nambirige
Faridah Kadondi

Irene Eyaru
Christine Namulumba
Shadiah Nassanga
Hanisha Muhameed



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