Excitement as the Uganda She Cranes team returned at Entebbe International Airport from Australia

Overview:

Uganda settled for fifth position with three wins, one against eventual winners Australia, 32-30 with Faridah Kadondi named as the match’s best player at the Christchurch.

Fast 5 World Series 2022:

Final Table Standings:

  1. Australia
  2. South Africa
  3. England
  4. New Zealand
  5. Uganda
  6. Jamaica

Business at the Entebbe International Airport temporarily came to a stand-still as the Uganda Netball national team returned from Australia where they took part in the 2022 Netball Fast Five World Series.

Uganda Netball Federation officials, Trustees, coaches, family members, media and ordinary fans waited from Entebbe International Airport lobby as early as mid-day.

It was not until 2 PM where the Ethiopian Airlines plane landed amid excitement.

A traditional troop of dancers drummed and danced as the players and officials emerged from the customs area.

Hon Margret Nantongo Zziwa over-joyed at Entebbe International Airport | Credit: UNF

“We are humbled to receive you back home. Thank you for never disappointing. This was the first time that we are participating at the Netball Fast Five World Series and you did well by beating the World number one, Australia” Hon. Margret Nantongo Zziwa, a Trustee revealed.

The members and officials were warmly received by their friends and relative with broad smiles and hugs.

Uganda Netball Federation Trustee Eva Magala (extreme left) was one of the officials who received the team at Entebbe International Airport
Some of the Uganda She Cranes players | Credit: UNF

Thereafter, the team was hosted at a welcome luncheon held at Mabira Hall in Mestil Hotel, Kampala.

While at Mestil, the Uganda Netball Federation Sarah Babirye Kityo lauded the gallant players and their clubs, Trustees, UNF sponsors and partners, media and everybody involved in the journey.

She did not mince words to elucidate the financial struggles they have maneuvered through.

Babirye explained to the chief guest Rev. Canon Duncans Mugumya (represented Hon Peter Ogwang) the hardships that the federation undertakes.

“We participated at the Fast Five Series for the first time ever. We won three games which is impressive. However, we have experienced financial challenges since we were not given any single penny in preparations. We remain positive that netball deserves its share” Babirye cried aloud.

In response, Rev Mugumya, the commissioner of Physical Education and Sports assured the Netball fraternity of the support given their great performances.

Uganda She Cranes return | Credit: UNF
Excitement at Entebbe International Airport as the Uganda She Cranes players and officials returned home | Credit: UNF

Uganda settled for fifth position with three wins, one against eventual winners Australia, 32-30 with Faridah Kadondi named as the match’s best player at the Christchurch.

The She Cranes also defeated Jamaica 33-22 and recorded a 32-10 win over the same opponents in the classification match to take 5th place.

Irene Eyaru was named as the outstanding player in the second win over Jamaica.

The East African country fell 32-49 to the hosts (New Zealand), 34-38 to England and 22-27 to fellow Africans South Africa.

Towering sharp shooter Mary Nuba Cholhok was voted as the fans’ choice player of the series.

The dance from the She Cranes’ players on the “Babandana” tune of Ugandan musician Grenade was eye-catching before every spectator.

Australia overcame South Africa 34-20 to win the championship.

Hosts New Zealand settled for third place with a 39-25 victory over England.

Attention turns to the domestic league and the 2023 Netball World Cup that will be played between July 28 to August 6 in Cape Town city, South Africa.

She Cranes Results at Fast 5 World Series:

Day 1:

  • New Zealand 49-32 Uganda
  • Uganda 33-22 Jamaica
  • England 38-34 Uganda

Day 2

  • Uganda 32-30 Australia
  • Uganda 22-27 South Africa
  • Uganda 32-10 Jamaica

Closing matches:

  • Finals: Australia 34-20 South Africa
  • 3rd Place: England 25-39 New Zealand
  • 5th Place: Uganda 32-10 Jamaica

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

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