By Muhammad M. Dhakaba
Uganda national netball team – The She Cranes, resumed preparations for the 15th edition of the sport’s World Cup, scheduled Liverpool, England, starting July 12 to 21.
A squad of 16 – local based players officially trained in the morning session, and later in the evening, for first time in two weeks at Lugogo hockey grounds and Indoor Stadium, respectively.
Interesting to note though, is that it took the players’ personal contributions for the team to resume preparations, which Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) officials had called off, in late April citing different predicaments.
Our sources disclosed that the players had discussed their dwindling fitness levels, deciding to foot the expenses on their own.
“We had no option but to take such a decision. For, we are the players and the country would be looking us, not the officials, especially if we put up a questionable performance,” said a player, who requested not to be named.
UNF spokesman, Wilberforce Mutete said they had decided to treat the situation as normal, owing to the fact that time was against the team’s preparation.
However, a source at National Council of Sport – the government’s arm in charge of all sports bodies in the country said; “hey notified us that they were calling off training to enable players process visas to UK; so that’s news to us.”
The team, first declined to train from the hockey artificial turf, which NCS had provided as an alternative, after the Indoor facility was busy, hosting a boxing championship. They alleged that the ground was too slippery, and would easily cause injuries to players.
UNF officials recently secured an ultra-modern training facility at the Little League Academy in Nakirebe, near Mpigi town but have not utilised it.
Besides the local based players, Mary Nuba is expected to morale boast the team’s preparation, owing to the fact the English netball Superleague, ended at the weekend. However, Peace Proscovia, is likely to join the team at a later stage – for her league – the Australian netball league is still in its infancy.
Last week, parliament passed a supplementary budget totaling to over ugx27bn to go towards,mainly, the national netball and football teams’ preparations for World Cup and Afcon 2019, respectively.