2014 East and Central Rowing Regatta:

Top 3:

Maroons (Uganda) – 30 Points

Green Belt (Uganda) – 17 Points

Bumbe (Kenya) – 13 Points

Ugandan side, Maroons rowing club are the 2014 East and Central Africa clubs’ Rowing Champions after a grueling three day’s regatta that attracted national and regional teams at the Kisubi beach, on Lake Victoria waters, near Entebbe town.

Inspired by 4 gold, 3 silver and one bronze medals, the Luzira based club ensured the title remains on home turf at the annual championships.

“It is a combination of diligence and commitment from the entire team members”, a visibly excited team skipper, William Muwanga told Kawowo Sports after hoisting high the trophy.

Maroons won gold medals in the male and female Single Scull, double scull category, and the men Quadruple events to beat off strong opposition from compatriots, Green Belt rowing club and the Kenyan duo teams of Bumbe and Nairobi Ruiru.

18 year old Betty Nabifo (also seeks education assistance) braved a painful leg injury to win Maroons the female light weight single scull gold and combined with teammate, Batenga Nakisozi to finish to the Green Belt duo of Christine and Jackie in the light weight double scull competition.

Maroons also won gold in the light weight men single scull through Alfred Okello and the men’s doubles (through Raymond Adiga and Dougals Kisalare).

The highlight of the competition was that thrilling challenge in the open single scull event where Bumbe’s John Mugabe, a rower with 13 years’ experience under his belt, overwhelmed the chasing pack of Sam Mpiira (Green Belt) and Dougals Kisalaare (Maroons).

“I have been at all African rowing competitions and performed well, therefore I expected to do well here especially that the waters were this calm”, a well-built Mugabe experienced.

The quadruple set of William Muwanga, Raymond Adiga, Anorld Omonyi, Douglas Kisalaare and the cox man, Rodrick Muhumuza clocked 1 minute 27 seconds to take gold, beating off a strong Bumbe opposition as Wellness Rowing Club took bronze.

Overall, 10 clubs from Uganda and Kenya participated while Malawi’s representative attended merely to find means of how to introduce the water sport to the Central African nation.

Uganda’s celebrated rowers, Constance Mbabu and Gerald Ssemambo missed the event for different reasons. Mbambu, was out sick whereas Ssemambo merely opted to rest from the regatta.

The event was witnessed by the rowing’s international body officials, Jim Flood (British Instructor and coach), and Paul Daetweyler (Swedish born umpires’ instructor).

Uganda Olympic Committee president, William Blick, who presided over the closing ceremony hailed the work of FISA in developing the sport in Uganda.

The Uganda Rowing Federation, headed by Hamza Kahwa received a timely boost of a n indoor rowing concept machine, donated by a Dutch rowing well-wisher, Thomas Friedhoff.

At the same crowing event, 11 FISA local coaches were passed out by Jim Flood after a week’s training. 1 level 1  and 11 officials were successful.

Suzan Nabukenya passed FISA level 1 while William Muwanga, Douglas Kisalaare, Afred Okello, Derrick Kato, Sam Onyango, Faruku Baruku, Mugisha Kwiringara, Fred Kibuuka, Betty Nabifo, Noah Ssewankambo and Hilary Epes were confirmed as level 2 certified coaches and instructors..

Uganda’s Rodrick Muhumuza was promoted to the position of FISA regional instructor.

Uganda will again host the next championships next year.

Teams performance:

1-      Maroons (Uganda) – 30 Points

2-      Green Belt (Uganda) – 17 Points

3-      Bumbe  (Kenya)– 13 Points

4-      Nairobi Ruiru (Kenya ) – 6 Points

5-      Wellness (Uganda) – 1 point

6-      Kisubi (Uganda) – 1 Point

7-      Crane (Uganda) – 0

8-      UPDF (Uganda) – 0

9-      Nalubaale (Uganda) – 0

10-   Lake Shore  (Uganda) – 0

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

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