Uganda Rugby Union opens up as normalcy is partially reinstated. In March this year, the Rugby Premier League (the men’s top tier competition) returned after a one-year hiatus caused by Covid-19 disruptions. The previous season ended prematurely due to the pandemic.
A few days ago, the Women’s Regional 10s satellite tournaments kicked off in the Eastern, Central and later in the Northern Region of the country. The tournaments unveiled women’s rugby comepetitions after one year of inactivity.
The above two events are the only competitive rugby engagements to be held ever since sports activities were reinstated in September last year.
Uganda Rugby Union (URU) president Godwin Kayangwe says that it’s been challenging reinstating comepetitions but believes that the game’s local governing body is still glued to it’s mandate of promoting and growing the sport.
“The second year of our tenure has been challenging with the new normal but equally rewarding and we firmly believe that a good foundation is being laid to take rugby to the next level. All this needs to be protected by ensuring that we remain uncompromising when it comes to corporate governance and accountability, but most importantly team work” Kayangwe said at the union’s Annual General Meeting held recently at Lugogo.
“2020 was a pandemic year. We didn’t have much activity although URU was set out to implement the first full year of the New URU 4 year strategy as framed in 2019,” Kayangwe added.
In 2020, Central league was not completed, Western league suspended, Eastern league was completed with Mbale Elephants declared winners while Gulu elephants emerged winners of the Northern league that was completed.
Women’s Central league was completed and won by Thunderbirds while Kitgum Queens were crowned champions of the Women’s Northern league.
The schools 15s Super Cup was halted as a result of government closing schools, since format of play required knockout phases of semis and finals, competition was cancelled.
With less activity in 2020, URU financially spent less but this also meant that they had less revenue in comparison to other years.
However, according to URU’s activity plan for this year, the union plans to hold more events including; National Sevens Series (across all regions), Women’s Sevens, 10s tournaments, Jim Park Memorial 10s (women), National School Sevens (across all regions), Uganda Cup (men and women), Elgon Cup (men and women), Rugby Africa Cup, including friendlies and other engagements outside the country.