Uganda Rugby Union president Godwin Kayangwe Arinaitwe Credit: Edgar Hamala

Uganda Rugby Union has been listed among 11 unions set to receive a solidarity support fund from Rugby Africa for the restart of rugby in the 2021 season.

The other unions are Namibia, Kenya, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Zambia, Madagascar, Côte d’ivoire, Senegal and Ghana.

Rugby Africa announced that the unions will receive €276,490 (about UGX1.2Bn) for safe and successful preparations of the restart after the challenging year 2020.

Khaled Babbou, the President Rugby Africa, said this has illustrated the continental body’s support for its unions.

This is an exciting day for rugby on the Continent. It clearly illustrates Rugby Africa’s support for its Unions. We have been through extraordinary challenges this year and it is essential that we do everything possible to keep this much–loved sport alive and striving in Africa.

Khaled Babbou, President – Rugby Africa

Rugby Africa had earlier this year extended a €117,000 (about UGX 524million) relief fund to the 31 unions for immediate food and medical relief.

URU used part of this fund extended to them to assist clubs with food and supply PPE for their players.

This time, each of the unions is expected to receive between €43,736 (about UGX 195million) and €5,027 (about UGX 22million) depending on the criteria used to award the funds.

Criteria used to award the funds

  • 40% of the fund scored on Development – The strength and development level of domestic competitions and the existing support workforce necessary to develop clubs and leagues in a country. A Union Development Questionnaire (using a scoring tool developed by World Rugby) was used in consultation with each Union.
  • 60% of the fund scored on Performance – The participation and results of Rugby Africa Unions during the 2018 or 2019 season i.e. Rugby Cup (Men and Women), Sevens (Men and Women) and U20 Barthès Trophy.

The recipient unions are expected to consider their areas that need the most urgent development or improvement. For example the restart of the domestic leagues and training camps or staffing for the national teams. The fund may also be used by some of the unions in preparation for the forthcoming Olympic Games.

The release of the funds is expected in 2021. Unions will work with Rugby Africa staff to draft a program that will be presented to Rugby Africa management for approval before the funds are released.

Ernest Akorebirungi is an amateur rugby player and a keen follower of local Ugandan rugby.

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