What you need to know:
Uganda hosted and won the Cana Zone III water polo competitions at Kampala International School of Uganda (Kisu) - Bukoto on Saturday beating Tanzania 7-2 and drawing 3-3 with Kenya
Uganda water polo coach Erick Kisero is hopeful of maximizing their technical support and relationship with South Africa to raise their own level.
Uganda hosted and won the Cana Zone III water polo competitions at Kampala International School of Uganda (Kisu) - Bukoto on Saturday beating Tanzania 7-2 and drawing 3-3 with Kenya.
The day also marked exactly three years since South African coach Brad Rowe visited Uganda to launch the sport at Greenhill Academy - Kibuli.
“It was very exciting to see swimmers so interested in water polo,” Kisero said while Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) president Moses Mwase intimated on their consideration to adopt this format of having swimming, water polo and open water swimming for all national competitions in the future.
“The excitement was particularly because this is a team sport so if we do more focused training, we can actually get to South Africa’s level,” Kisero added.
South Africa have been regulars at the World Championship, World League and World Cup, have two Olympic appearances (1952 and 1960) and are ranked 15th in the world by world aquatics governing body Fina.
Among the three countries at Kisu, only Uganda had a team specifically trained in the past to play water polo - albeit their last game came in 2019.
Kenya and Tanzania relied on those who took part in the swimming events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning but they learnt quick.
“They actually woke us up,” Amos Bakka, who scored five of Uganda’s 10 goals in the championship, said after the 3-3 draw with Kenya, which could have turned into an upset had it not been for Ampaire Namanya’s awareness in goal.
The other goals came from Ariyo Ahumuza (three), Paul Musoke and Mubarak Ssemanda while some like Rachael Galinda, also a swimmer, were happy to be back in water.
Kenya, however, got tired and lost 4-2 to Tanzania, who were also given a taste of playing back-to-back medicine in the 7-2 loss to Uganda.
“We felt like visitors, like our first day in a new class because most of us were worried about our fitness levels,” defender Trinity Biyagwa, said after the matches.