By Charles Birungi
The Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who is also the patron of the Common Wealth Games Association of Uganda, last evening at Serena Hotel launched the team kit and flagged off Uganda’s team to the 21st Common Wealth Games which will be held at the Gold Coast, Australia from 4th to 15th April, 2018.
The team of 69 athletes and officials to the games will be led by sports state minister, Hon. Charles Bakabulindi. The first team of athletes is expected to depart for Australia starting next week.
Sports state minister Bakabulindi, the British High Commissioner to Uganda, Peter West, the Deputy Australian High Commissioner to Uganda, Jonathan Ball and the President of the Common Wealth Games Association of Uganda and the Uganda Olympic Committee, William Blick were among the officials and sportsmen and women at a cocktail held at the ambient Turaco Hall in the Serena Hotel.
Major General Kainerugaba hailed sports as an important tool that can be used to promote the country’s interests abroad especially in tourism, trade and investments.
“We should continue prioritising sport as a tool for shaping the future. Sports has been one of the greatest highlights for Uganda and we remain confident that the team in the next games will bring sporting glory like those that went before,” said Gen. Kainerugaba. He added that sports can be used to inspire the country’s youthful population, a large majority of whom are still below 30 years.
At the last Common Wealth games in Glasgow, Uganda won 5 medals, the most exhilarating of which was when Moses Kipsiro won Gold in the men’s 10,000 meters race. Uganda has participated in every edition of the games since 1954, hauling a total of 49 medals across six sports disciplines, but most especially in athletics and boxing.
This year’s Uganda team will participate in 10 sporting disciplines including athletics (track and field), boxing, badminton, swimming, rugby, squash, net-ball, weight-lifting, shooting and cycling.