The national University games successfully climaxed at Busoga University on Monday with Ndejje University winning a third successive title.

Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye had pitched camp at the host university and wraps the entire tournament highlighting the lows and highs of the biannual event.

Kyabazinga rallies subjects:

During the official opening ceremony of the 16th edition, the Kyabazinga of Busoga Kingdom, His Highness, William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV at the newly renovated university sports complex, called upon his subjects to get more involved in productive activities that contribute to general development of the country.

My memories as a student are still fresh since my days at Coventry University. I support the involvement of the subjects in productive activities as sports and agriculture.

The mammoth crowd that turned up for the opening ceremony was a ray of hope that the games would be well cheered through out; and indeed, it turned out to be.

Having the Kyabazinga bless the games was a big bonus to the local organizing committee, Busoga Kingdom and the host University itself in particular.

Ndejje University students celebrate with the overall trophy after the closing ceremony

Late preparations dent Busoga University’s legacy:

For the second time in the history of the game, the Eastern region hosted the games after Mbale’s 1995 edition by Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU).

Even by the start of the games on the opening days, works on the playing facilties were still on-going.

Failure to finish the facilities forced the local organizing committee to take the games to as far as Kampala (for Swimming); Jinja where basketball and lawn tennis were held.

Birth of Omweso and beach soccer:

The 16th edition will go down in history for having witnessed the addition of two events – beach soccer and omweso on the already rich laden menu of games.

Busitema had a clean sweep of the Omweso board game with gold medals in either genders.

Beach Soccer was won by Nkumba and UCU in the men and female respective genders.

Ill preparations:

Even by the time of the games kick-off, preparations on the playing facilities were still on-going.

Whereas the football main ground remained bumpy, the netball, volleyball, handball and basketball courts were not at all worked upon.

This forced the organizers to shift base to the neighboring Iganga girls, Boys, Bishop, Technical and Canon Ibula play grounds.

The running track was polished minutes to the first races, forcing a postponement of many races  until the track was well marked out.

Use of non students:

Just like the case has been in the previous editions, the 2016 games were no different.

The trend of universities using non-bonafide students continued with the host university culprits after a money row arose from the mercenaries hired.

Complaints on poor feeding & accommodation:

Whereas the Iganga based hosting university takes the biggest applauds for hosting close to 5000 participants with about 1000 officials, there were grey areas as regards provision of accommodation.

Many universities sought for private means as others slept in the buses and vehicles.

For many who have closely followed the games over the years, complaints were registered in the quality and quantity of the food served at the games.

Overall, Ndejje University were class above the ordinary with less competition offered by the opposition after the unfortunate pulling out of Makerere University (over Examinations).

The level of competition continued to improve at the games in almost all the sporting disciplines.

UCU’s mouth watering netball victory over Nkumba was a clear case in point.

There were close battles in football (men), basketball, handball, beach soccer, chess and scrabble.

Busoga takes the credit for making the 16th edition count, the organizers, mobilizers, volunteers, fans, participants, referees, sports tutors, University administrators deserve special mention.

Congs Ndejje University

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

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