More than 400 student athletes will compete in rugby and Sevens rugby at the second Kings of Africa University Rugby Sevens and Tennis Slam at Makerere University.
The event will take place during the Independence week from October 8-10 as part of the celebrations to mark the International Day of University Sports, which is in its second year of running.
According to Peninah Kabenge, the president of the Association of Uganda University Sports (AUUS), confirmations have been received from hosts Uganda, Kenya, Libya, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The rugby championship will be used as a qualifier to the International University Sports Federation (FISU) University World Rugby Cup to be held in Kazan, Russia next year.
The tennis championship, which Makerere won last year, is aimed at refining the African students ahead of the World University Games next year.
Underlining the importance of sport and physical activity in university settings, Kabenge explained that: “The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of sport and physical activity to the health and wellbeing of societies worldwide. University sport’s role in developing healthier, more active lifestyles among young people is key to ensuring a healthy society for generations to come.”
A series of other sporting, educational and cultural events are also due to be held at Makerere this year to mark the International Day of University Sport.
They include a zoom webinar discussing the role of students in the growth of university sports, an aerobic session, 3x3 basketball, a handball outreach and an online sports quiz testing participants on their understanding of university sports current trends and history.
Emmanuel Aupal, the Makerere University sports minister is hoping for a great performance.
“It is a great day for us and we are trying to balance gender such that we present a competitive team,” Aupal said.
The International Day of University Sport is an initiative of the International University Sports Federation and sees events held around the world.
It has received recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNICEF).
Patrick Ssebuliba, the AUUS Secretary explained that with the Covid-19 pandemic lasting longer than many had anticipated, they are reshaping plans to cope with restrictions. All participants will be vaccinated while volunteers and staff will present negative test results while fans will be locked out.
“We have done a lot of work to follow the protocols such that we are able to stay on top of the situation,” he said.
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