Up to 11 women and men were rewarded with cash among other prizes for emerging winners in a cycling race held in Fort Portal last Saturday morning.
The cycling race was organized by MTN Uganda as part of its 20 year celebrations and it attracted over 200 participants, 30 of whom were women.
While their male counterparts raced for 25 kilometers, the women rode 10 kilometers. The race that was flagged off at the MTN Service center in Fort Portal town ended at the Boma grounds where overall winners were announced.
Saadi Mutebi and Esther Data walked away with a cash prize of Uganda shillings 400,000 and a ready pay solar kit worth Shs519,000. Christopher Mugabo, a security guard with SGA security and Birungi Goretti, each won Uganda shillings 300,000 shillings for emerging the winners in the ordinary non-sports bike category for the men and women categories respectively.
“I have been training for this race. I am so happy that my efforts have paid off,” said Mutebi, a 19-year old bicycle mechanic. Other winners in the women’s category who also got cash prizes included; Amina Babirye, Cossy Naigaga, Cossy Kasumba and Rebecca Tukamusima. In the men’s category, Robert Tugume, Nicholas Mugenyi and IsiahKwezi also walked away with different amounts of cash. Robert Kakooza, the competition secretary at the Cycling Federation of Uganda says that as a sport, cycling is underserved yet it has the potential of thriving and putting Uganda on the global scene. “MTN’s initiative to interest the public in cycling will go a long way in promoting the sport,” Kakooza said. He urged the public to embrace cycling as a sport and fitness exercise as it promotes good health and fitness. Speaking about the cycling race, Valery Okecho, MTN’s Corporate Communications Manager confirmed that the cycling races were indeed a key attraction to the company’s expo held to commemorate its 20 year anniversary. “In choosing to include cycling among the action attractions to the Expos, we considered the fact that besides the health and fitness benefits derived, it forms a daily part of our customers’ way of life. By adding a competitive element to it, we sought to reward excellence and further tap into the excitement and unifying factor that the event would bring out of our customers everywhere we go,” he noted. Okecho also commended the Cycling Federation of Uganda for the high level of professionalism exhibited in organizing the bicycle races at the MTN at 20 Expos. To celebrate its 20 years of existence in the country, MTN Uganda has been holding regional expos in major towns such as Kabale, Gulu, Lira and now, Fort Portal. Other districts including Mbarara, Arua, Hoima and Mbale are also set to host the expos in the subsequent weeks.