Master swimmers make Uganda proud

Master swimmers make Uganda proud

By Emmanuel Sekago

The word Masters was first applied to adults who participated in track and field and was later adopted in organized adult swimming. In swimming, Masters simply means 18 and older.

Master swimming is witnessing a remarkable resurgence. Most Uganda swimming clubs started  introducing  adult swimming training programs, It started as a joke in Uganda but now its a reality and the just concluded performance by Ugandan Master swimmers at the 8th Africa Aquatics Zone 3 Swimming Championship in Kigali, Rwanda, last week showed the rest of the countries that being old doesn’t make you sit on your talent.

Uganda masters swimmers in action
Uganda masters swimmers in action

Heading the team was Dr. Donald Rukare,  President of CANA Zone 3, and Peter Ssebanakit, a seasoned swimmer and parent, who both clinched medals in the Africa Aquatics’s masters category. Their achievements also follow an impressive showing at last year’s Africa Aquatics Zone 3 that was held in Tanzania, with aspirations to compete in the World Swimming Masters Championship in future.

Uganda performance hopes it makes the Uganda swimming federation leadership start ambitious plans to bolster master swimming programs nationwide rather than concentrating within Kampala city. These initiatives include organizing a regional and district masters swimming championship starting with next year 2024  and creating a comprehensive database of master swimmers in the whole of Uganda.

The Uganda swimming federation needs to call on Parents of Swimmers and other stakeholders to rally behind this idea, emphasizing its importance for the sport’s growth.

The Uganda Masters women team with Gold Medals
The Uganda Masters women team with Gold Medals

In this year’s competition attracted leaders from  Djibouti Aquatic president Ali, Dr. Maureen Owiti, President of Kenya Aquatics and Zone III President Donald whose participation in the Masters of the Africa Aquatics Zone III Swimming Championship held in Kigali, Rwanda showcased an impressive turnout of MASTERS SWIMMERS,
The Masters category, the standings were as follows; with Uganda in the first position  with 784 points, Team Kenya  came second with 65 points, newcomers  Djibouti finished third position with 42 points,  Ethiopia with only  36 points in fourth position and last was  host nation Rwanda  with 30 points in fifth position.

This achievement underscores the commitment and excellence displayed by the participating teams, but one needs to understand that master swimming is not just a win for the sport but also a boon for the health and social networks of the participants. It fosters a sense of community and provides opportunities for personal and professional growth, making it a valuable asset in the realm of social capital and a healthy nation.

The Uganda Masters Squad;
Women-Masters; Catherine Nakimuli, Penninah Namagalu and Avice Meya
Men-Masters; Henry Kakooza, Kanchela Chituba, George William Mukasa, Peter Ssebanakita, Dunstan Rukare, Charles Obwana, Conrad Kaheetu, Alex Kateeba, David Wolimbwa, Donald Rukare, Patrick Magezi and Reagan Iga.

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