Philip Snyman Credit: Uganda Rugby Union

For the first residential training camp of the year, Uganda Men’s Sevens was joined by two specialists from South Africa to boost the nation’s preparations for the 2022 campaign.

Head of Sevens Philip Snyman and Head of Performance Johan Van Wyk at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport were in the capital Kampala for a week providing specialized support to Tolbert Onyango’s technical bench.

Snyman, a former South Africa Sevens (Blitzboks) captain, said it has been an awesome experience both on and off the field in Uganda.

“Overall, on the field and off the field, what an awesome experience in Uganda, and I’m really looking forward towards the future.”

On the field, he observed that the players were keen to learn and make progress. He added that it was an honour to coach the squad because he played against some of the players before his retirement into coaching.

“It’s been an amazing experience. From the day we arrived, I think everybody was really keen to learn and to make the progress on the field. It’s also an honour for me because I’ve played against some of the guys and now I’m coaching them.”

Snyman retired on October 8, 2019, as the most successful Blitzboks captain having led his country to two World Series titles and a bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018. During his 11-year national rugby career, Snyman played against the likes of Adrian Kasito, Aaron Ofoywroth, Timothy Kisiga, and Desire Ayera who are still actively playing.

Snyman hits a tackle bag held by Adrian Kasito

Away from the rugby, Snyman was showered with a wholesome experience of the Ugandans’ warmth and reception. He says the people were friendly and helpful, and that he enjoyed the food served in the Pearl of Africa. Snyman also watched matchday four action during the Nile Special Rugby Premier League at Kyadondo Rugby Club on Wednesday.

“Definitely, the (Ugandan) people. Very friendly, very helpful. The hospitality from the Uganda Rugby Union hosting us. We were also fortunate to watch a couple of club matches on Wednesday. One of the highlights obviously we have enjoyed the food here, and today we are going up to Lake Victoria to see the Source of the Nile. Still, a lot that we want to see (but) unfortunately, the trip was only a week but that just means we need to come back in future. We can’t wait to be back and to explore more of Uganda.”

Snyman, and his right-hand man, will depart the country during the weekend back home in South Africa. They will be reunited with the Ugandan squad during the second residential training camp in a month’s time.

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

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