The tagline “Deo Akope” echoes loudest in Uganda’s sporting spheres.
The professional golfer has seen it all on the golf course; driving, chipping and putting to triumph in all fashion ends both as an amateur and now as a pro.
Akope swung to three successive Uganda Amateur Golf Open titles between 2000 and 2002 before turning pro.
He returned to the podium, winning as a professional in 2006 and lately 2014.
Akope has also won several local championships, making that treasured cut in as many regional and continental events.
With the current Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic grappling the world, most countries, Uganda inclusive have been severely affected.
The lockdown strategy as a mitigation tool to tame the virus has been employed but left far fetching effects on various sectors of the economy.
For now two months, there has not been any golf action on the courses across the country, rendering the amateur and professional golfing cluster jobless as well as the caddies.
To Akope, the professional golfers have been hit hardest since they earn from the game.
“With the courses closed, there is no practice. There are no competitions and therefore no earning. The Coronavirus lockdown has hit the professionals the hardest way” Akope confesses.
Golf as a social distancing sport:
Akope, a former Uganda national team head coach reasons that golf as a sport could as well surpass the bare minimum and be allowed to operate as normal given its social distancing etiquette.
“Golf is a social distancing sport in nature. We could as well be allowed to play and at worst without caddies” Akope appeals to the relevant authorities.
The golfers, like the rest of the other sportsmen are grounded at their respective residences in the continued lockdown period for at least another 2 week until 20th May 2020.
Sports, like the rest of the other tasks that involve crowds as music concerts, bars, public open day markets, weddings, burials, religious and educational facilities were suspended until further notice.
As of Tuesday, 5th May 2020, the Coronavirus cases in Uganda stand at 97, with 55 recoveries and no deaths.
In the entire world, 3669747 cases have been recorded, 1210591 recoveries and 253169 deaths.