The Uganda Golf Union (UGU) has officially launched the 2023 All Africa Junior Team Championship that will run from 17th to 20th April (competition proper) at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa’s par-72 comely course in Kigo.
According to UGU, 15 countries, Uganda inclusive, have confirmed participation in the event. The other countries are; Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Jackson Were who is the Tournament Director says that they delight in hosting a huge number of junior golfers across the continent noting that they could pick a few lessons for future tournaments. He notes that they’re good to go.
“We are set to host the tournament because everything is in place. The course is in good condition and the weather is favorable and I hope that the conditions remain good throughout the event. We believe it’s going to be an exciting week of golf,” Were told media in a press briefing on Thursday at Lake Victoria Serena.
UGU President, Moses Matsiko says that it’s an honor for Uganda to host the continental meet and they will capitalize on it to strengthen the junior sides.
“Right now our focus is on the development of juniors. Hosting the All Africa Junior Team Championship means that we will be able to try and test our players and our programs and therefore prepare better for related events in the near future,” Matsiko said before thanking the event partners and sponsors.
Uganda Ladies Golf Union (ULGU) President, Doreen Mwesigye re-echoed UGU President’s remarks adding that Team Uganda is upbeat ahead of the showpiece and will seek to capitalize on home advantage.
“Team Uganda is well prepared for the tournament and I believe they will do well. Our players are used to this course and therefore they will be comfortable here. Our team also competed at the NCBA Uganda Junior Open last week so they are in competition mood which puts them ahead of the rest,” Mwesigye said.
National Council of Sports (NCS) was represented by Sarah Chelangat who is an administrative secretary at the Lugogo based statutory organ. She appreciated UGU for organizing and hosting the tournament.
“Hosting such a big number of countries is a good achievement for the golf fraternity and sports as a whole. It also boosts sports tourism in the country,” Chelangat said before rallying the juniors to be disciplined.
The sponsors for the event are R&A, National Council of Sports, Pepsi, Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa and Speke Resort Munyonyo.
On the partners’ side, Miriam Jemimah Akatekit, the Corporate Communications Manager of Crown Beverages noted that Pepsi and golf have had a long relationship with UGU/ULGU as they have partnered with very many events and tournaments across various clubs in the country.
“It has been our pleasure to support golf activities whenever necessary,” Akatekit said adding that; “with Crown Beverages championing the promotion of gender equality, we are happy to see the tournament having both male and female participants. We wish all the players good luck but we hope that Uganda wins the tournament.”
UGU secretary Anthony Agaba revealed that the teams start arriving on Friday14th April 2023, and will be accommodated at Speke Resort, Munyonyo.
Each country is allowed to enter a boys team composed of four (4) players and a girls team composed of three (3) players.
Uganda has entered a boys team composed of Reagan Joseph Akena, Ibrahim Ssemakula, Juma Abiti and Abdul Kakeeto, as well as a girls team composed of Frista Birabwa, Vivian Achen and Winnie Musuya. The team coach is Flavia Namakula and the team manager is Sam Kacungira.
Mode of play shall be stroke play over 72 holes and the best 3 scores per day count for the boys and the best 2 scores per day count for the girls.
The event will be graced by officials from the Africa Golf Confederation namely Johnson Omolo (President, AGC), Mike Aggrey (Secretary General, AGC), Christopher Mulenga (Executive Member, AGC) Phillip Ochola (Chairman, AGC Technical Committee) and Michael Mahachi (Chief Referee).
The organizing committee is headed by Dr. Jackson Were who is the Tournament Director. Othermembers of the committee are Moses Matsiko (President, UGU and Tournament Host), Anthony Agaba (Secretary, UGU), Joseph Bagabo (Treasurer, UGU), Robert Ejiku (Committee Member, UGU), Doreen Mwesigye (President, ULGU), Edwin Tumusiime (Head, UGU Technical Committee), Sadi Atibu (UGU Technical Committee), Wendy Angudeyo (Transport), Gloria Mbaguta (Guests hospitality) and Paul Kaheru (Event Manager).
The All Africa Junior Team Championship is one of the premier events on the African continent’s annual schedule, as it serves as the African Qualifier for the prestigious Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, which will be held later this year in Japan.