Arnold Kisulo and Jamila Lunkuse got an early boost to their Olympics 2016 dreams when they bagged awards at the inaugural Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) awards dinner held on Saturday at Nawab Restaurant.
The two were awarded 2015 Best Senior Aale and Female swimmers respectively on a serene night that had guests and swimmers dress casually and glamourously in equal measure.
While Lunkuse enjoys less competition and is poised to make her second Olympics after her first in London 2012, Kisulo will again have to fend off competition from Joshua Ekirikubinza whom he beat to the gong.
Kisulo had a tough performance at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia in August but quickly revived form as he led Uganda to a stellar performance at the inaugural Cana Zone III Champions in December last year while his performances for Dolphins leading them to a first place at the USF inter-club gala and fifth place in the Kenya Longcourse Age Group and Open Championship counted for much.
Nabil Saleh also stemmed off tight competition from his brother Fadhil and their Cana Zone IV Championship teammates Ambala Atuhaire and Tendo Mukalazi to win the best junior male swimmers’ awards.
While the tough competition in aforementioned or ‘fear of the known’ in Lunkuse’s case, meant there was a subtle greeting to their respective winners, the loudest cheers were saved for best coach of the year Muzafaru Muwanguzi and junior female swimmer Rebecca Ssengonzi.
Her unrivaled heroics earned Uganda its first ever continental swimming medals at the Africa Junior Championships held in October in Cairo, Egypt. She clocked 1:03.74 to win Silver in the 100m Butterfly before clinching bronze in the 400m Individual Medley (IM) at 5:18:06.
Sponsors, and USF administrators, including chief guest Dr. Maggie Kigozi, were honoured for their contributions to the sport over the years. Former USF general secretary Paddy Lutalo and president Jerome Dralega were also posthumously recognized.
The committee of the Uganda Swimming Federation
Dr. Kigozi, former president of the then Uganda Swimming Association (2003), promised, to give the federation free land for an Olympic size pool if they can get funders.
2015 USF Awards Winners
Best Senior Male Swimmer: Arnold Kisulo
Best Senior Female Swimmer: Jamila Lunkuse
Best Junior Male Swimmer: Nabil Saleh
Best Junior Female Swimmer: Rebecca Ssengonzi
Best Masters Female Swimmer: Kate Kizza
Best Masters Male Swimmer: Latif Kajumbi
Best Coach: Muzafaru Muwanguzi
Best National Primary School: Greenhill Academy
Best National Secondary School: Greenhill Academy