Team Uganda is upbeat ahead of tomorrow’s Africa Zone VI Golf Championship, which tees off at Kitante course with some of the continent’s best golfing nations in action, writes MOSES MUGALU.
Adolf Muhumuza, captain of Uganda’s 10-man team, sounded the battle drums to rally the nation during his pre-tournament interview on Saturday. The other players on Team Uganda are Henry Lujja, Ronald Otile, Ronald Bukenya, Gideon Kagyenzi, Robert Oluba, Lawrence Muhenda, Martin Ochaya, Happy Robert and Ronald Rugumayo. Amos Kamya is the coach.
“The home support we’ll have is crucial and we cannot afford to let down the country,” an upbeat Muhumuza said on Saturday as the team braced for the four-day tournament.
South Africa, the tournament defending champions and continental powerhouse with 13 titles under their belt, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya are the biggest threat to Uganda’s dream of winning the tournament for the first time. Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana will also field their national teams in the event.
However, Muhumuza insists that being hosts, Uganda has equal chances as the so-called elite golf giants in the tournament.
“Kenya won it two years ago when they hosted it in Mombasa so, we can also do it on home soil,” Muhumuza stated.
PEP TALK: Team Uganda coach Amos Kamya (2nd L) giving final tips to players
The Tooro Club golfer, who was part of part of Uganda’s team that won the East African Challenge title after beating Kenya last September, is also confident of the bonding in the current team after six weeks of intensive residential training.
“We have worked hard on the doubles and foursomes because partnership is very important in this tournament,” he said.
It’s worth noting that apart from Ochaya, who is making his debut in national careers, the other players are already tested and have gained experienced in playing at this level.
President Museveni could be another morale booster to the host team as he is expected to make a rare appearance on the Uganda Golf Club green to tee off the tournament. Team officials and tournament organizers are excited about the likelihood that a presidential handshake could inspire the home players to go for the top honours.
Officials are also optimistic that live television coverage, courtesy of NTV, will pile ‘positive’ pressure on players to perform.
Source : The Observer