All well-meaning human beings are hoping, if not wishing, that all suspensions over Coronavirus end on dates earlier communicated by President Museveni on March 18 and in his subsequent national addresses.
For mass gatherings and sporting events, the President announced in his first address that these would be provisionally put off for 32 days as the country assessed the situation.
At the time, Uganda had not registered any case of the pandemic. Since then, and as of Tuesday night this week, the country had registered 52 cases out of some thousands tested, with no recoveries but most thankfully, no deaths.
With positive cases mainly imported and just a miniscule transmitted here, it is right to argue that the lockdown measures are working.
The President was due to address the nation again last night. So we will not commit to any update whether the 32-day ban on sporting events will indeed be lifted around April 20, but what is certain is that clubs will continue improvising in terms of their players’ fitness.
StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) champions KCCA, for example, are taking this quite seriously.
After Museveni announced the break, KCCA handed their players a four-week training package which they were to follow up to April 22, assuming the ban was lifted two days before.
“The first week we gave them a program to just maintain fitness levels by doing basic endurance of jogging and walking,” KCCA assistant manager Morley Byekwaso told Daily Monitor.
“All this being done individually at the players’ respective homes, mind you! The second week they had to do speed endurance which includes climbing. You don’t need a lot of space for this. 100 yards are enough. “The third week (which we are in) needs even smaller space... 50 metres or thereabouts and here we expect them to do lots of speed and strengthening.
“The fourth week is full-blooded, explosive stuff. Little sprints and power in a short period of time!”
But how confident is the club that the players are actually disciplined enough to do all this under minimum or no supervision?
“We really have little options. But we trust them,” said Byekwaso, “We also track them on phones and even ask those that live with them.”
Across in Kitende, Vipers SC players were also dismissed with express orders and programming after the President’s directive.
“Of course it’s a difficult period for many without the regular vigorous sessions as we all know how those players need to be pushed under guidance but I’m optimistic they are responding to the programmes,” Vipers strength and conditioning coach, Ram Nyakana, is quoted on the club website.
“The boys are focused and know what is at stake. Although some fitness and sharpness will be lost during this recess, our target is for them to be at 85 per cent on return.”
Vipers top league standings at 54 points, four more than defending champions KCCA with five matches to go.
Strengthening and speed