Sunday, May 8
•NIC (Uganda) 75-38 KVZ (Zanzibar)
Monday, May 9
•KCCA vs UPDF – 9:30am
•Prisons Vs Tamasan (Tanzania) – 11am
•Uhamiagi (Tanzania) Vs NIC 12:30pm
•JKU (Zanzibar) Vs JKT (Tanzania) – 2pm
•KVZ (Zanzibar) vs Prisons – 3:30pm
National Insurance Corporation (NIC) Netball Team started their East Africa Netball Championship title defence with a 75-38 win over Zanzibar’s KVZ at the newly built Kamwokya Community Sports Centre.
This, was the opening game of the tournament that brings together the top Netball clubs in the East African region.
NIC got out of the blocks to win the opening quarter 18-8 before extending their cushion to 18 goals (38-15) after the second, and they never looked back in what turned out to be a one-sided affair.
Stella Oyella led the way with 32 goals, outscoring the whole KVZ team!
Stellah Nyadoi and Victo Nantumbwe added 25 and 12 goals respectively in the win while Jennifer Mussa managed 10 in a losing effort.
“We have trained hard, we are aware that teams that will give us hard times are the Ugandan teams but we are also ready,” said NIC captain Joan Nampungu.
“We are ready to conquer anyone who will come our way as we look to defend our title.”
NIC have won the East Africa Netball Championship for a record 19 times.
They are the defending Champions having won the tournament in 2019 in Zanzibar, ending their four-year drought then.
But they face strong competition from KCCA and traditional rivals Prisons this year.
Next on their menu is Uhamiagi (Tanzania) on Monday midday, while they have Prisons and Tamisemi in their Group A.
Group B has KCCA, UPDF, JKU and JKT.
Kenya teams (Prisons – Men and Women) did not come through despite earlier confirmation.
In their remarks, Uganda Netball Federation President Sarah Babirye Kityo and Chief Guest Margaret Zziwa urged the players to exhibit high degree of discipline.
Babirye started with commenting on the weather that slightly affected the day’s program : “When it rains before any function, it’s super blessing. Finally God gave us a signal.
“To all our guest teams, please feel at home, enjoy everything, when you see any Ugandan eating anything, feel free to try it.”
She added: “As East Africa, we are a family, let’s play and enjoy it. This is just a game but not a do or die, let’s not fight. I want to assure you that the security is tight and you are safe.”
She commended the sponsors including GoTV and Mandela Group, and also recognized partners including Uganda Prisons and the Kamwokya TLC.
Zziwa stated: “I warmly welcome all teams from other countries. This is important for our players to use this to prepare for Commonwealth games as we want to represent Uganda with honour.
Let’s exhibit the sportsmanship spirit, don’t crack each other’s bones.”
“To the Kamwokya TLC, thanks for bringing the game home. We are happy to be here in Kamwokya. This venue brings the game nearer to the people. As we leave at the end of the tournament, we will have many netballers and fans joining us.”
The day kicked off with team presentations and the whole players joined Prisons Band in a procession in the neighborhood areas to officially launch the tournament.