Uganda’s Junior Women national team, the Junior Gazelles, have been flagged off to take part in the upcoming 2019 FIBA U16 Women’s Africa Championship in Rwanda.
The team, under coach Roger Sserunyigo and Harriet Lubowa, returns to Rwanda where they won the Zone Five U16 Championship to qualify to this stage.
The 2019 FIBA Africa Under-16 Championship for Women will be the 6th FIBA Africa U16 Championship for Women, played under the rules of FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, and the FIBA Africa thereof.
The tournament will be hosted by Rwanda from 26 July to 4 August, the top two teams will qualify for the 2020 FIBA Under-17 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Romania.
Uganda is competing at this stage for the first time.
The team has been training in residential camp at the African Bible University in Lubowa since July 16.
The Junior Gazelles will face competition from the record five time reigning champions Mali, Egypt, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique and hosts Rwanda in a battle for the continental trophy.
The contingent will depart for Kigali this Friday, July 26.
Flagging off the team in a press briefing held at Uganda Olympic Committee offices in Lugogo on Thursday morning, FUBA president Nasser Sserunjogi revealed that there are facing many Challenges, all to do with finances.
“We have had challenges in finances but we can’t sit back and wait, we have to do everything in our means so that we can represent and fly the flag high,” started Sserunjogi. “I call upon the government through NCS that this is not a personal team nor the federation’s, it has to be funded by the government.”
“Its not good to wait for the team to comeback and welcome them. We have the talent, the players are there but we can do nothing without enough preparations.
“My appeal is for them to come up and support these teams that represent the country.”
Sserunjogi showed pride in fulfilling his goals to help the game through grassroots, which was his main focus when campaigning for the federation presidency.
Players – Esther Kwagala, Mary Najjuma, Shilla Aber Lamunu, Patience Nantume, Sharifah Nalwadda, Lydia Babirye, Sylvia Namuddu, Joyce Nyapendi, Regina Ajuma, Penitah Nabakooza, Michelle Aber Linda, Mary Moses Amanyo.
Coaches – Roger Sserunyigo and Harriet Lubowa
Head of Delegation – Hudson Ssegamwenge (General Secretary, FUBA)