UCU cross-country team win inter-university bronze

By Timothy Murungi, :: 10-04-2012

  UCU athlete in actionUCU cross-country athletics team has won bronze for both the men’s and women’s categories at the 17th inter-university cross country in Gulu on March 24.

The women’s team ‘borrowed’ Grace Kusaba and Phiona Nakalega from basketball and netball respectively to team with Prossy Nalukanga and Liani Lulu. It was a thin team of the required minimum number of four in a race where the maximum number of participants was seven.
Nalukanga came eighth, Lulu was ninth, Nakalega was 16th and Kusaba came in the 26th position out of 57 runners.
Kusaba and Nakalega ran six kilometers under scorching heat for the first time in their lives. The two admitted that they could only run five laps at most around the football pitch and did not think they would finish the race.
“I felt like stopping. But how can you stop? It was very tough for me,” Nakalega said.
“I did not know that I would finish,” Kusaba said.
When asked what kept her going, Kusaba said, “Lulu and Prossy told us before the race to fight on and finish the race!”
The men’s team was also only five:Edward Mukasa, Michael Ssali, Dennis Adwek, Edson Bamwesigye, Stuart Mwijuka and Ronald Byaruhanga.
Earlier on, drama ensued as athletes refused to go to the starting line until the participants they claimed to be mercenaries were pulled out. The athletes led by UCU and Makerere were determined despite pleas by the NUSUF general secretary, Patrick Ssebuliba, who tried to shelve the matter.
“I have consulted the executive and have been told that whoever has a querry, he or she should write a petition to the executive,” he said. This
His counsel fell on deaf ears and the athletes were increasingly getting rowdy until Faustino Kiwa, organising secretary of Uganda Athletics UAF) intervened by literally pulling out the mercenaries he knew.
Several athletes were withdrawn as students representing Kampala University which delighted students though some athletes claimed that other mercenaries were slipped through.
The DOSA, Rev. Milton Tweheyo, was as jubilant as the athletes when the results were announced.
“This is a very big improvement. It shows that we are moving forward and next time we will do better,” he said.Team captain Ssali was full of praises for all parties that offered a hand.
“I want to thank the DOSA, the guild and the sports department for their facilitation. I also want to thank my team for striving hard especially under such very hot conditions. But we need more manpower,” he said.
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