Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba congratulated the sportsmen for their hard work
PHOTO:Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba
The 2016 Nile Special-USPA gala that was held at the Imperial Royale Hotel, Friday night, did not only see the different sportsmen get rewarded on the night.
The Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA), the organisers of the annual event were also surprised recipients of a sh30m donation from President Museveni towards their Savings and Credit Scheme ‘SACCO'.
Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba who was chief guest at the function, delivered the message for the offer during his speech to the hundreds of guests who turned up for the occasion.
He urged USPA members to ensure they grow the start-up fund and to ensure that it benefits the whole group urging that forming cooperatives was the way to go and that government was encouraging it.
"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, in reference to the number of ‘runs' he has been invited to.
Muhoozi also congratulated the sportsmen who had won for their hard work, commitment, dedication and sacrifice they made before they achieved.
"I also congratulate the coaches and families of the sportsmen for the support they have offered to the Excellency that we are awarding tonight, but let us strive to work hard to attain greater heights
He appealed to USPA members to exercise as much professionalism as possible and to ensure all their efforts are geared towards encouraging our sportsmen in the country.
Over 40 awards were given to sports men and women in different disciplines with Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango taking the sports personality of 2016 award, on top of the team of the year of which he was part, and footballer of the year awards.
USPA president Sabiiti Muwanga asked the chief guest to ask President Museveni to consider sports as one of the ‘special operations' so that it can receive more attention than it is now.
"The people we are celebrating, work under difficult situations. Some train without food, facilities are also a problem; allow me to request you as a special advisor to the president to ask him to prioritise sports because as sports journalists we are also employed by the sports sector and without sport we would not survive," Muwanga noted before lauding USPA partners Nile Special, NSSF, City Tyres, Standard Chartered Bank, UBC, NCS, UNRA, KCCA FC and UOC for steaking with the association.
Zubair Galiwango who represented the state minister for sport Charles Bakkabulindi, observed that in sports it's not only winning that matters but also team building.
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors Nile Special Brand Manager Samuel Hooper praised 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.
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.
Golfer Flavia Namakula and Ludo player of the year Sarah Namubiru were elegant in their busuutis just like many other who appeared in Uganda made attire.
Artistes Geo Steady and Irene Ntale lightened up the event with some of their top hits like Owooma, Mpayo Akadde and Gwe aliko as they engaged some of the guests in their dances, while Emcees Andrew Kabuura and Malaika Nyanzi were also splendid in running the event.