The Uganda Men’s Senior Lacrosse National Team was on Friday, June 16, 2023 flagged off for the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship scheduled to take place in San Diego, California, United States from June 21st to July 1st, 2023. The side was flagged off by officials from National Council of Sports (NCS) and Uganda Lacrosse Association (ULA) at Lugogo Sports Complex in Kampala and departed the same day.
The 11-day event will start at San Diego State University’s new state-of-the-art Snapdragon Stadium with the Opening Ceremony and first game between the United States and Canada. There will also be a halftime performance by Steve Aoki.
Uganda, seeded in Group B alongside Japan, Wales, Denmark and France are positive of putting up a good show in San Diego.
Patrick Oriana who is Uganda’s Head Coach says that his side will not just participate at the tournament but will compete throughout the event.
“I believe this is one of the best teams Uganda Lacrosse has ever assembled and I believe they will do well. We have been using the previous years as a benchmark, taking the lessons and trying to change things a bit and I believe at the moment the team is in good shape,” Oriana said moments after flag-off.
“We have also been blessed to have American based coaches train our players in the run-up to the tournament. They really gave the boys vital knowledge and skills and we are hopeful that there efforts will yield fruits,” Oriana noted adding that they need to the best they can be at all times.
Uganda’s Captain, Kenneth Keith Lubangakene who has been a main-stay on the national team says that their strength is in speed and they will exploit it especially against highly ranked sides. He added that the team has been getting better and better.
“Ever since the qualifier against Kenya we have improved a lot. I expect us to do great things than what we have been doing before because the team is a mixture of young players and senior players, some of which are based in the United States and have mastered the game,” Lubangakene said adding though they are underdogs against some sides, they will seek to disrupt pecking order.
Joseph Oluga who is the Acting General Secretary of NCS led the officials who flagged off the team. He urged the players to be good ambassadors of the country and the sport locally, something that can attract more funding from both government and the private sector.
About World Lacrosse Men’s Championship
The World Lacrosse Men’s Championship is a quadrennial event featuring the top men’s field lacrosse teams competing for a world championship title. First conducted in 1967, the championship has been held all over the world and includes participating nations from each of the five continental regions.
Uganda’s Squad for World Lacrosse Men’s Championship
Goal keepers: Andrew Asimwe, Allan Amone, Daniel Otimu
Defenders: Innocent Anyala, Shaban Pitta, Benard Otim, Phillips Max, Damson Lyaleng
Long speed midfielders: Chris Palanda, Micheal Ochan
Defensive midfielders: Solomon Adiyo, Francis Odong, Martin Komakech
Midfielders: Roger Anywar, Keith Lubangakene, Owen Waluku, John Brian Mukaga, George Ogik, Yosef Ngowe, Paul Mbusa, Edward Komakech, Aaron Lyaleng
Attackers: Swaibu Meliga, Benjamin Ojok, Faisal Nsubuga, Finn Phillips.