By Augustus Bigirwenkya and Joseph Baguma
A fraternity of netballers in Uganda has decried poor facilities that are even inadequate in the country, a situation the claim to be retarding the development of netball game.
Our reporter caught up with some players at Masindi stadium on Saturday during national football rally for Uganda that began on Friday and ended on Saturday and most of them want government to construct good netball facilities in most schools across the country if netball is to be popularized like football and athletics.
The two day gala which was organdies by Uganda Netball Federations attracted 53 teams including primary schools, secondary school, tertiary institutions and clubs across the country.
Netballers believe that, the game has not had significant impact it deserves because most of the courts of play are in sorrow state and do not match the international standards.
Alice Nanteza, who was among players of a national team, the she cranes that represented the Country in Australia in Sidney said that, Uganda cannot host any international netball tournament due to lack of play grounds which match the international standards.
“We do not have a national peach for the national team where we can train from and the one we use at Nakivubu stadium which also host the national netball league is in troubled state. We want government to increase the funding for netball and construct for us these facilities to make the game attractive to many,” she said.
She appealed to schools and clubs in district where national rally was organized to always participate in the game to have an opportunity to learn the new rules.
“Am appealing to all schools and clubs in district where these competitions are organized to participate and know the changes in the game because netball is changing every time, “she said.
Ruth Meme, another she cranes star who plays for NIC and represented Uganda at the netball world cup 2015 In Australia challenged parents to always give their children a chance to explore their talents.
“Parents should understand that you can play sports and also study because people are gifted differently and some of us have studied on bursaries up to university and we are now earning through netball, “she noted. Meme also criticized the bad state of Masindi stadium which has a lot of dust saying that is was affecting the players health.
“Most players are not comfortable with the pitch because of too much dust which is choking them and that is why the game is not flowing well on most courts, “she.
She appealed to school netball umpires in rural district to always go for refresher courses and put what they would have learnt in to practice to attract more young people in the game.
“The game is vibrant in the central because all good coaches and umpires are in the central and this cannot take us far when other places are not moving at the same pace,” she said
Rashid Mubiru, the national team coach for the she cranes noted that there is need to have young vibrant people from the grass root trained as coaches and umpires to promote the game.
“We are lacking coaches in Uganda who love the game, have passion, skills and who are knowledgeable of the game to improve it because most people have not taken keen interest in the game,” he said.