Barely 5 months after ascending into office as the Chairman, Uganda Rugby Union (URU) Andrew Owor has asserted that the major changes he has undertaken in re-sharping the outlook of the rugby league lies the secret password of developing the game further in the country.

In an exclusive interview with Kawowo Sports at Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Owor pledged to major changes that will significantly improve the sport in the next couple of years.

“For just the 4 months I have been in charge, there are quite a number of changes, majority are visible and others are long term”, the 34 year-old former Buffaloes coach, who won the May 2013 Rugby Union elections opens up.

 Having met stiff resistance to implement his initial idea of having fewer clubs in the main Nile Special Rugby Premier league, Owor championed the cause of having the league kick off in November, two months much earlier than the originally planned January kick-off.

“Still Clubs agreed to give them more playing time (this season). But by next season, we shall relegate 2 teams and promote one from the feeder league” he says.

The union plans to run the premiership (6 teams), Championship (6 teams), 4 nationwide leagues (in the Northern, Eastern, Central and the West), the women’s league, the schools’ and the University leagues.

Owor strongly asserts he is not against any individual but his plans are streamlined to help the general development of the game from the grassroots right to the national team.

“My plans are not an overnight dream, but it will take 3 or so years to get what am trying to initiate today. We need strong clubs as a basis for the perfect national team”, the Makerere University electrical engineer revealed in a 2 hour exclusive interview.

“I have already outlined the club’s executive format for every team. We need a chairman (CEO), Education, Technical, Operations, Corporate Governance and Maintenance stuff”, he says.

Owor harbors huge ambitions of developing grass root rugby from Under 7 to the U-18 set-ups, with the national U-20 (Schools and Tertiary institutions) to the clubs.

“Once the management and competition structure transformation idea is handsomely bought by everybody, Rugby is surely a growing sport in the country. We shall quickly adapt to the Get Into Rugby (GIR), Tag Rugby and other new programmes for the game’s continuity”, Owor signs off.

 Andrew Owor At A Glance?:

Full-Names: Andrew Owor

Age: 34

Parents: Mr and Mrs Owor

Education: Buganda Road Primary School, St Mary’s College, Kisubi (O and A- level), Makerere University (Bsc. Electrical Engineering), Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Computer Science).

Rugby Debut: 1992 (while in S.2)

Rugby Career: Played for SMACK Team, Vice Captain (S.4), Rhinos Rugby Club, Impis Rugby Club (President), Heathens and Buffaloes

Coaching Career: Saracens, Stallion Tigers and Buffaloes Rugby Clubs.

Challenges Met Thus Far: Limited funding for teams, National teams and schools rugby teams, Resistance of members to the growing trends of the game.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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