L-R: Rosette Kaala, Francis Banya, Joan Smith and Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso addressing the media at the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) offices - Old Kampala, Mengo


Smith from Namibia lauded the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) for the warm hospitality and the gallant preparations to have a decent team for the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

Joan Smith, an official from the global world’s netball body, World Netball concluded her three-day visit to Uganda on Sunday, May 7, 2023.

Smith, the regional development manager – Africa had traveled to Uganda to ascertain the level of readiness for the She Cranes prior to the upcoming 2023 Netball World Cup due in South Africa.

The Namibian national lauded the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) for the warm hospitality and the gallant preparations to have a decent team for the world cup.

Joan Smith, a World Netball official addressing the media in Kampala city, Uganda

She held significant talks with the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC), the Common Wealth Association of Uganda, National Council of Sports (NCS) as well as the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Addressing the media at the offices of Uganda Netball Federation on Sunday morning, Smith hinted on the purpose of her visit.

She was flanked by the Acting president of Uganda Netball Federation Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso, the CEO Francis Banya and Rosette Kaala, an executive committee of UNF.

I want to thank the Uganda Netball Federation for the best reception. The purpose of my visit was to as tell Uganda population that the Netball World Cup is on and Uganda is ready to present a formidable team. There is a big assurance that World Netball will also extend some support as regards to finances for the She Cranes and prepare a couple of warm up games in Cape Town to ensure Uganda will compete with the strongest team possible.”

Joan Smith, World Netball Regional Development manager – Africa

Smith is optimistic that Uganda will reclaim her best ranking position after the world cup.

Uganda is now ranked 8th from 6th. Therefore, there is the determination to reclaim position on the world ranking and improve better. We shall have the official opening ceremony is on the 28th July 2023 and before that, there will be an elective congress prior to the world cup”

Joan Smith, World Netball Regional Development manager – Africa
Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso, the Acting president Uganda Netball Federation addressing the media

Brigadier Byekwaso lauded the Government of Uganda for the efforts extended to Uganda Netball Federation to have a competitive team and the assurance of making three sprung floor facilities.

“We wanted the Ugandans to hear from the horse’s mouth (World Netball) about the Uganda Netball Federation’s preparations for the 2023 Netball World Cup. Everything is in good progress contrary to the fears from the public. We are also organizing some international friendly matches in United States of America (USA) and Canada. Government has promised to secure for us three sprung floor facilities. The funding promised to us is about 968M to help in the preparations” Brigadier Byekwaso who is in office for three months as president revealed.

Francis Banya, Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Netball Federation (UNF)

Meanwhile, the UNF CEO Banya was full of praise for Smith’s visit to Uganda.

“Joan Smith’s visit to Uganda was very significant to help assure the world about She Cranes’ readiness to take part in the Netball World Cup. We have done all the preparations. We have got assurance all the funding will come from the Government.” Banya revealed.

Rosette Kaala, an executive committee member on the Uganda Netball Federation gave an insight about the national team’s preparations.

“We expect the national team training to fully resume on 23rd May 2023 after the regional championships in Nairobi city, Kenya. The regional championships are a good precursor for our national team preparing for the 2023 Netball World Cup.We are not going to merely participate in the World Cup but to compete.” Kaala stated.

Rosette Kaala, Executive committee member of Uganda Netball Federation (UNF)

At the 2023 East African Netball championships in Kenya, Uganda will be represented by three women teams and two men sides.

National Insurance Corporation (NIC), Prisons and Weyonje will play for women.

WOB and Kampala University are the men’s teams for the 13th to 20th May 2023 championship that will be played at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi city in Kenya.

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

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