Two students have launched a fundraising drive for team Uganda
Budding taekwondo martial artists, Royson Okwera and Ocira Oswaldo may have their World Junior Championships dreams in Canada this year answered.
Kampala International School of Uganda (KISU) students have opened an early fund-raising drive to enable the pair take part in the event due on November 16-20.
The fundraising drive is spearheaded by KISU students Lara Chamas and Raymond Wakabala as part of the school Community Action Service (CAS) programme.
The two students launched the fundraising drive for team Uganda. According to coach Ahmed Bamuwayira, $20,000 (about sh60m) is required for a team of four. Airfare is likely to take $12,000 (about sh39m) to Barnady city, Bamuwayira said.
Okwera and Oswaldo gave a good account after bagging five medals in the US Open Taekwondo Championship in Reno Nevada in February.
Oswaldo, 14, scooped two gold medals in the main combat under-48kg sparring category and in exhibition sparring event. The junior martial artists also nearly stole the hearts of the judges with a show of movement in the pattern category but fell for silver.
Royson Okwera, 16, who featured in the cadet's category of the event, bagged gold in the combinations pattern and sparring event.
The Ugandan team that was sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines together with coach Bamuwayira returned home on Tuesday.
Bamuwayira who led the martial artists from the Sports Children's Taekwondo Academy in Mbuya says the two may be the backbone for Uganda to feature in taekwondo in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Uganda has never fielded any player in martial artist in the Olympic Games history. And to coach Bamuwayira the new crop of players can change that fact.
"We have a very big potential in contact sports like taekwondo. The only problem is that martial art has been neglected at the expense of other sports," the coach said.
"Given good investment, these boys can shine in the 2020 Olympics," added Bamuwayira.
Prior to the US Open, the Ugandan team that departed on January 20 had a 10-day training stint in Colorado in. Coach Bamuwayira credited the camp for helping his boys grasp the electronic scoring system.