By Martin Kaddu
The Uganda badminton association has today received a Shs5m sponsorship boost from Bank of Baroda for the ongoing Uganda para-badminton international tournament that began on Tuesday at the Lugogo arena.
The six-day tournament that climaxes on Sunday also doubles as qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Paralympic games and has attracted players from 21 nations. Simon Mugabi, the Uganda badminton association (UBA) chief executive officer says that the entries have come down due to the fact that most athletes were focusing on amassing points to next year’s Paralympics games in Paris, France.
“Athletes have had a number of qualifying tournaments in different countries and those who have amassed qualification points may not take part in the subsequent international tournaments,” he explained. A total of 25 countries have representation in this year’s edition with Uganda fielding the most 40 players in different categories among others including wheelchair one and two, standing lower, standing lower 3 and 4 as well as SS6. About 8 players in different categories are top ranked in Africa and we hope for the best,” Mugabi added.
Sarah Nazziwa who is making her second appearance at the competition wants to better her last year’s performance where she got two bronze and a silver. “It is my second tournament and I want to get a gold medal,” she revealed. Henry Lule, the Uganda national team coach expects better performance compared to previous editions after intense training with players like Hassan Mubiru, Elizabeth Mwesigwa, Rose Nansereko, Ali Mukasa, Sumin Mutesi, and Ritah Asiimwe as the players to bank on.