President Yoweri Museveni yesterday flagged off the 69 athletes who will represent Uganda at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia. This was at State House in Nkasero as he wished them the best while representing the nation.
The president who was in buoyant mood also revealed that he has been a big fan of the games and has been following them for the past 60 years since when they were held in Cardiff 1958, where Tom Kawere won a silver medal in boxing.
As usual he gave the team lots of advice and pep talk ranging from issues of discipline, strategy, teamwork and sportsmanship to management and coordination.
“There are four key things about sports. First, it is about fitness through training and good nutrition. Managers should ensure sportspeople eat well because they use a lot of calories. A sportsman needs 5,000 calories per day compared to 3,000 calories for a non-sportsperson.” The president said
“Sports is about endurance. You can be fit but lacking in endurance, which is also about character building. When you hear we went to the Bush with 27 guns and defeated an army, it is because of endurance.” He added
He also emphasised that these qualities like endurance, strategy, cooperation and discipline also serve in other aspects of life like business, studies, and at work places.
“To sports people, use your talent for your own benefit but also for the benefit of the global community. Unlike an excelling athlete, a good teacher in Namagunga will not be known in Australia. That is how Kipchoge Keino put Kenya on the world map just as Akii Bua did for Uganda.Sportsmanship is rivaled by no other talent in creating recognition and fame. You have rare talents which you should use and guard jealously. It also brings recognition to your country and promotes tourism.”
Rugby sevens captain Michael Wokorach was named the overall captain for the 2018 team after captaining the 7’s side for the third consecutive time at the Common Wealth games. The team comprises 11 sports disciplines with athletics and Rugby sending the biggest contingent.
“I wish the team good luck. I am glad there’s better planning this time. Issues of logistics were handled early. If the team does well, I promise to slaughter some bulls upon their return and we celebrate.” The president concluded.