By Martin Kaddu
Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) held their monthly June Assembly on Monday at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. The sports journalists’ umbrella body also held their inaugural sports journalist monthly awards where NBS Sport’s Nicole Gloria Apio scooped the broadcast award for the month of June.
Apio, who on top of reporting hosts the weekly Fan zone show on Sundays won in the broadcast category while Daily Monitor’s Allan Darren Kyeyune emerged the inaugural winner in the print and website category. Apio with her story titled “Mulungi setting an example at City High school in boxing alongside education” beat workmate Ritah Tugumisirize and Salt Media’s Geoffrey Mugerwa while Kyeyune with his story titled “Cricket Cranes pull off heist to win inaugural T20 Cup beat workmate Andrew Mwaghuya. The duo will receive a cash prize of Shs300,000 and a plaque courtesy of awards sponsors Kansai Plascon.
“I am very much happy. It is my first career award in barely two years of sports journalism. I thank my workmates who put brains together to beef up the story when I presented the story idea. Having a story like this takes much effort from the camera operator, editor, news producer among others and handy,” noted Apio, a young girl whose story starts from the under-privileged “Acholi Quarters” slam. “I thank Uganda boxing federation for the assistance especially in organizing the sources in the story,” she adds.
Apio never saw herself winning the award, but she was satisfied that her story had an impact, especially that boxing was banned from schools. “With boxing banned in schools, I wanted to show that a boxer can also do great in academics. I also wanted to show that boxers are disciplined at school and are not academically weak as many assume. I think this can open up eyes for reinstating boxing in schools,” explains Apio, who hopes to do more impactful stories after this motivation as she informs to transform.
Uganda boxing federation president Moses Muhangi has hailed Apio for the comprehensive story as well as USPA for recognizing the impact of the story. “I am happy that a boxing story won the day. This is what we envisioned when we signed a memorandum of understanding with Next Media under the NBS Sport brand. We looked at exposure of our boxing and changing notions. I want to encourage sports journalists to produce more such impactful stories and the awards are very good motivations,” noted Muhangi, who has for time called for reinstating boxing in schools for better talent spotting and development.
In other awards, Paralympic Swimmer Larry Feni was unanimously voted as the Nile Special USPA Sports Personality for June after his outstanding performance at the Special Olympics in Germany, where he secured two gold medals. The Junior Silverbacks, who secured qualification for the FIBA Africa U16 Championship in Tunisia, were awarded with the Young Talent Award while the Uganda Bikers Association was honored with the Sporting Award.
During the assembly, it was announced that the USPA annual gala will take place on September 16th this year and will be broadcast live on NBS Sport.