Members of the Uganda Cranes contingent spent part of Tuesday afternoon visiting the Uganda High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa. The team is currently in Pretoria for the Africa Paris 2024 Olympics Qualifier that started last Sunday.
The group of 12 led by UHA president Phillip Wafula met with the Head of Mission His Excellency Paul Amoru, Defense Advisor Brig. General Edson Muhanguzi, and third secretary Charity Natukunda.
The Ambassador and General explained Uganda’s relationship with South Africa and the current government’s role in fighting apartheid during the 90s plus the economic and social opportunities that have united the two states since.
Wafula took the diplomatic staff through the men’s national team, Hockey Cranes’ campaign to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics through the ongoing Qualifiers at University of Pretoria.
The coach Innocent Raskara did the technical work of introducing the sport and its growth in Uganda to the Ambassador, who praised the contingent for “showing a strong attachment to your country by sparing time to come here.”
“This (Embassy) is your home and we are honoured to receive you. We are also happy to note that your trip here has been sponsored by the government.
As an Embassy, we are trying to sign an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the government, through the Ministry of Education and Sports to see how we can support sports.
Recently, the South African netball federation expressed willingness to send Uganda a court,” H.E Amoru said as he also challenged the hockey association to spread the game to all regions in the country.
Amoru also promised that next year, Ugandans should enjoy visa free trips to South Africa – a move that will be welcomed by many sportsmen and women – to compliment Uganda Airlines’ new move to have daily flights to South Africa.
“Platforms like these (Olympic Qualifiers) are good for advancement. You can never know who is watching. So as you play for your country, you want to advance and be taken up by a club,” Amoru advised the players that were represented by their captains Emmanuel Baguma, Bosco Ochan, Stewart Kavuma plus defender Jordan Mpiima and midfielder Colline Batusa.