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Are She Cranes being marginalised?

By James Bakama

Added 25th July 2019 05:15 PM

The She Cranes finished seventh at the just concluded Netball World Cup and each has sh1m to show for their achievement.

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First Lady Janet Museveni welcomes back the Uganda She Cranes squad from the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England at State House Nakasero,Kampala,July 23, 2019. PHOTOS: Richard Sanya

The She Cranes finished seventh at the just concluded Netball World Cup and each has sh1m to show for their achievement.

 
The disparity between the national football and netball sides’ rewards has sparked off a serious debate on which team deserves better.
 
While the Cranes were rewarded with $1m(sh3.7bn) for reaching the round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations, the national netball side- the She Cranes got much less for shining on a much bigger stage.
 
The She Cranes finished seventh at the just concluded Netball World Cup and each has sh1m to show for their achievement.
 
President Yoweri Museveni rewarded the footballers after their return from Egypt while the ladies got their token from Janet Museveni, the First Lady and Education, and Sports Minister.
 
The netballers returned from Liverpool on Tuesday having it at the back of their minds that a huge reward awaited them.
 
After all, hadn’t they got a bigger reward for winning the African title two years ago?
 
Parliament that time fundraised sh222m for the team in a move that had each player, not only banking sh10m, but the netball body UNF also buying a bus.
 
News had on Tuesday also just come in that a communication company in South Africa- Telkom rewarded the country’s national side- the Proteas with R200,000 (sh50m) each.
 

 She Cranes players at State House

Expectations of a commensurate reward were therefore premised on such a background.
 
The She Cranes nevertheless still left Nakasero State House expectant of a bigger government offer given that the sh1m was seen more a personal initiative of the minister.
 
The team’s expectations also had to do with the kind of preparation the team underwent for the World Cup.
 
The team not only trained on tarmac courts but also only went to camp in a not so good hotel just two weeks to the competition.
 
The other 15 teams had meanwhile been preparing right from the last World Cup in Australia in 2015. But despite all the She Cranes hiccups they went on to shine.
 
A fitting reward will have far-reaching ramifications especially in building role models for the girl child. The reward will also go a long way in turning around the team members’ lives some of whom are mothers.
 

 She Cranes players listening to the First Lady Janet Museveni

The general view in the sports sector is that more money should be invested in disciplines like netball that excel.
 
“We should learn to invest where we have a comparative advantage.  Netball has been to three World Cups and progressively improved.
 
It doesn’t make sense to pour money where we don’t excel,” notes ardent sports fan Fred Ssuna.
 
He says even if that money is not given to the She Cranes it would have been used to develop netball structures like the youth teams.
 
 

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