Uganda Volleyball team upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport from Rwanda (Credit: John Batanudde)

The delegation of the Uganda national volleyball team returned home from the 2021 Africa Nations Championships in Kigali, Rwanda on the evening of Thursday, 16th September.

The excited group of players and officials touched base at Entebbe International Airport aboard RwandAir by 8 PM.

They were received by officials of the Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF) led by the president Sadick Nasiwu as well as close relatives, friends and fans.

Uganda Volleyball Team upon return at the Entebbe International Airport (Credit: David Isabirye)

The Uganda Volleyball national team returns with their heads up. Despite the sketchy preparations where we had challenges with the use of in-door facilities (due to the national lockdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic). Also, we did not have an active league but the players prepared well and staged a gallant performance. We focus now will be to see how the league kicks off and other internal tournaments as we look at the pool of other players.

Sadick Nasiwu, Uganda Volleyball Federation President
Sadick Nasiwu, Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF) President [Credit: David Isabirye]
George Aporu talks to UBC TV sports journalist John Barnes Sentamu (Credit: David Isabirye)

Team captain George Aporu lauded the teammates for the collective effort and anticipates a much improved performance given good preparations.

I would like to categorically thank the players for the performance. I thank the management for enabling the preparations amidst all hardships. I know, we shall keep improving

George Aporu, Uganda National Volleyball Team captain
Head coach Shilla Omuriwe Buyungo is greeted by son and daughter upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport (Credit: David Isabirye)
Fans in a selfie moment with Daudi Okello (Credit: David Isabirye)

The team finished fifth after out-muscling hosts Rwanda 3-1 in the 5th/6th placed playoff.

Uganda beat Rwanda 25-21, 25-23 and 25-13 to avenge the earlier group stage loss to the same opposition.

This had followed an earlier identical 3-1 win over Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) in the 7th/8th play-off.

Uganda Volleyball players with a block during their match against Rwanda in the 5th/6th classification match. Uganda won 3-1
Daudi Okello, the tournament sharpest shooter

We gave our best at the tournament because of the unquestionable team work ethic. We shall burn to ashes going forward as seek to bring down the very best.

Daudi Okello, power attacker
Setter Smith Okumu

We have been together for some time now. There is a good chemistry between the team and we shall continue to gel for best results

Smith Okumu, setter

DRC had won the first set 25-23. Uganda recovered to win the subsequent ones 25-21, 25-23 and 25-19.

During the pool A games, Uganda won twice against Burkina Faso 3-1 (25-15, 25-18, 26-28, 25-13) and 3-0 over Burundi (25-18, 25-15, 26-28, 25-18) before falling to the hosts Rwanda 3-2 in grueling fashion to book the quarter final slot.

In the quarter-finals, Uganda lost 3-1 to Egypt to fall into the classification categories.

Volleyball fans accorded the team a deserving welcome (Credit: David Isabirye)

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

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