By Thomas Odongo
The third Africa Youth Games will be played between 18th - 28th July in Algeria's capital Algiers and Uganda on Monday flagged off a 50-man team comprising of both athletes and officials.
The team departed on Monday evening aboard Fly Emirates and will participate in Athletics, Badminton, Weightlifting, Handball, Rowing and Swimming.
The team that was flagged off at Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) offices in Kampala looked sharp and is eager to emulate Uganda's Commonwealth Game heroics a few months ago in Gold Coast, Australia.
1500 Meter runner Dan Chebet who hails from the Sebei region noted that he is buoyed to emulate the likes of Joshua Cheptegei who claimed two gold medals in Gold Coast.
''I have to keep the Ugandan flag higher as my fellow Sabiny did. They are an inspiration and I know I will replicate their performance,'' Chebet noted.
Just like Chebet, Joshua Kibeti who is a 800 Meter runner has also drawn inspiration from the Uganda Commonwealth team that bagged six medals (three gold, one silver and two bronze) at the Gold Coast do and finished 15th out of the 71 nations that graced the glamorous showpiece.
At the flag-off, National Council of Sports (NCS) Chairman Bosco Onyik hailed government support towards sports development.
NCS contributed USD22,400 towards team participation in the games.
At the previous games that were the second edition held in 2014 in Gaborone, Botswana, Uganda won 1 Gold, and 2 Bronze medals.
The 2018 Africa Youth Games will also double as the qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games slated for 6th -18th October in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The team that was flagged off on Monday
Mr. Okello Ben (Team Official)
Ms. Onziru Florence (Team Official)
Ms. Adokorach Brenda- 100m/200m Ms. Chelangat Sarah- 3000m
Ms. Chekwemoi Esther Yego- 2000m SC Ms. Cheptoyek Joy- 1500m
Ms. Akidi Betty Bigombe-400m Mr. Obaren Aaron-100m/200m
Mr. Chelimo Oscar- 3000m Mr. Mutai Ezekiel- 2000m SC
Mr. Kibet Joshua-800m Mr. Chebet Dan- 1500m
Mr. Kabindi Kaluuya William (Team Official)
Mr. Kasirye Brian- Singles
Mr. Kivumbi Mubarak Musoke (Team Official)
Mr. Lutaaya Hamdan. S (56kgs)
Mr. Mayanja Willy (Team Official)
Mr. Aziz Yakub (Team Official)
Mr. Ayo Patrick - Athlete Mr. Bongomin Daniel - Athlete
Mr. Toko Ivan- Athlete Mr. Lukwago Sharifu- Athlete
Mr. Okello Michael - Athlete Mr. Mwesigye Ivan - Athlete
Mr. Ayiko Joel- Athlete Mr. Okello Umar- Athlete
Mr. Tibamwenda Vicent-Athlete Mr. Opio Victor -Athlete
Mr. Opollo Emmanuel Oder-Athlete Mr. Byamukama Isaac- Athlete
Mr. Muhumuza Rodrick. C (Team Official)
Mr. Katabira Ronald (Team Official)
Mr. Waira Joel- Athlete Ms. Ndagire Grace- Athlete
Mr. Muwanguzi Muzafaru (Team Official)
Mr. Kabuye Adnan Adam- Athlete Mr. Ambala Atuhaire Ogola- Athlete
Mr. Ssamula Darren Kirabo- Athlete Mr. Ssegonzi Jesse Ssubi- Athlete
Ms. Katumba Ssuubi Selina- Athlete Ms. Ssengonzi Rebecca Yayeri- Athlete