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Onyango crowned Nile Special-USPA Sportsman of the Year 2016

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 15th July 2017 05:18 PM

Africa Player of the Year, Onyango plays for African Champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa

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Africa Player of the Year, Onyango plays for African Champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa

 Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyago knows how hard it is to win an award, but more so to keep there after getting one.
 
But after being crowned the Nile Special-USPA Sportsman of the year 2016 at a colourful gala at the Imperial Royale Hotel on Friday night, Onyango promised to work even harder with his club to ensure they retain the Champions League.
 
“It is not easy to win an award, for example I was nominated in the ABSA premiership as the best goal keeper but I did not win. But this award is good for me and I would like to thank my teammates because it was not easy, as we and FUFA had to endure a lot of hardships and challenges especially with the pressure that comes with playing away matches, so we hard to work very hard to qualify after 38 years,” Onyango said.

“But it was massive and I would like to thank my family especially my wife and kids who are always there for me in hard times. I will remain focused and try to win the champions league again and hopefully we can get back to AFCON as well,” Onyango stated.

Africa Player of the Year based in Africa, Onyango who also plays for African Champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, was a triple winner on the night having earlier received the footballer of the year and the team of the year award that was won by the Uganda Cranes.
 
He picked his award from the Special Presidential Advisor on special operations and first son Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba who was chief guest.

“What a wonderful event! Thanks so much to the organisers, sponsors and USPA for organising this colorful event,” Muhoozi remarked.

“I’m humbled to be here as chief guest as the country celebrates its sportsmen. I thank USPA for organising this event and let me also congratulate the sportsmen who have won prizes tonight,” Muhozi stated.
 
“I urge Ugandans especially the young people to embrace sport. Sport is not only a big industry all over the world but it also enhances your health and I’m happy to note that of late Ugandans are taking physical fitness seriously,” Muhoozi said, before appealing to USPA members to exercise as much professionalism as possible and to ensure all efforts are geared towards encouraging our sportsmen in the country.

He later announced a sh30m offer from President Museveni towards the USPA saving scheme ‘SACCO’ and asked them to ensure they grow the start-up fund.

How Onyango won it
 
Onyango beat David Emong who won Uganda’s only medal, a silver at the Paralympic games in Rio 2016 and Philiip Wokorach who made the nomination list for guiding the rugby side Hima Heathens to the league title and also helped Uganda stay in the CAR Tier A on top of helping them qualify for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai and South Africa where he also emerged as Uganda’s best performer.
 
Legendary Award winner Sheila Agonzibwa appealed to the sponsors to continue supporting sportsmen in their struggle and also to support infrastructure development.
“It is hard in a man’s world to persevere and become victorious. This I have done for the love of sports but Ugandan sportsmen lack in so many ways and need more support from the different sponsors,” Agonzibwa noted after receiving her award from Nile Breweries’ sponsorship manager Francis Nyende.
 
In his speech, USPA president Sabiiti Muwanga thanked Nile for their continued support to the event and urged the winners to work had to ensure they remain at the top before calling on the chief guest to ask President Museveni to consider sports as one of the ‘special operations’ so that it can be considered as a priority, than it is now.
 
NSSF offers extra prizes
 
The top nominees Onyango, Emong and Wokorach each received a flat screen TV each from new USPA partners NSSF while other partners from City Tyres, Standard Chartered Bank, KCCA FC and UNRA were represented by their staff.
 
Sportsmen and guests followed the dress code to the later and were elegant in their ‘made of Uganda’ attire that included gomesis, kanzus, suits and kitenge.
 
Sponsors promise more
 
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors Nile Special Brand Manager Samuel Hooper parised USPA for their professionalism in the organisation of the event.
 
“As a country we have a lot to be proud of but unfortunately sometimes we don’t. Tonight this hall is filled with hundreds of reasons of sportsmen that make us proud of our country. And to USPA, you’re such a professional and ethical organization, you shade light on our sportsmen and give criticism where it is due. Tonight we celebrate the achievements of our sportsmen who have flown our national colours and as a brand we toast to all of you,” Hooper stated.
 
What is a gala without music
 
Artistes Geo Steady and Irene Ntale lightened up the event with some of their top hits like Owooma and Gwe aliko among others while Emcees Andrew Kabuura and Malaika Nyanzi were also splendid in running the event.
 
Other prominent guests that graced the event included Zubair Galiwango who represented the state minister for sport Charles Bakkabulindi, UOC president William Blick, FUFA president Moses Magogo among others.
 
Winners
Sportsman of the Year
Denis Onyango (football)
Team of the Year
Uganda Cranes (football)
Event of the Year
Nile Special National Pool Open
Best Run Federation
Uganda Cricket Association
Legendary Award
Sheila Agonzibwa
 

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