By Mike Rwothomio and Ofoymungu Lee
Since its inception in the 1920s, The Game of Athletics has had a remarkable impact on the lives of its lovers and the country of Uganda.
Many Ugandans have enough gongs and investment to showcase thanks to the game of Athletics.
The likes of John Akibua, Kiprotich, Joshua Cheptegei, Dorcus Inzikuru, Shida Leni, and Oliver Nakayi amongst others are some of the names in this country that are on the wall of The World Hall of Fame.
But for ages, The game of Athletics which for years has been boldly painting Uganda Black, Yellow, and Red on the world map has not been given much attention notwithstanding the revenue the country receives from the athletes whenever they return from the international competition.
Athletes all over the country suffer from a lack of enabling sports facilities, the timely much-needed financial support Among other challenges.
For the western Subregion, The situation is not any different and to some sports analysts, the less support towards athletes is worse. The region is well endowed with talented youths in all sports disciplines. many of these talents have been wasted due to less support across the board.
But In what seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel for some of the talented Athletes in the region, The West Nile Rural Electrification Company ( WENRECO), organized a one-day marathon run for the selected male and female athletes in the West Nile sub-region to identify, support and promote them. This is under their social corporate responsibility.
The October 14 event attracted hundreds at Mvara SS Playground in Arua City with the theme ” Identifying and promoting talents amongst youths in West Nile”.
The General Manager of WENRECO Kenneth Kigumba told this Publication ” In our Social corporate responsibility duties, we recognize that athletics is a key area to support, so when we sat down, we called the sport officers around the region, identify the challenge and see a way of reviving the sport” He explained
The objective of WENRECO was to ” host the event to confirm whether the talents can be mobilized around the region and put in one central location, allow for competition to prevail and then identify the best of the best such that they can compete at national and possibly international level” The manager added
After the event, Ten participants were selected and they shall in January next year go for national trials at Mandela National Stadium Namboole.
The selected participants out of which 6 are males and 4 are females are Ambayo Boniface Arua City, Combin Daniel _ Koboko, Otita Amos _ Maracha, Okot Andrew _ Nebbi, Suta Dickson Arua City, Jimmy _Arua City, Judith Letaru _Arua city, Yik Parwoth fancy _Nebbi, Ayikoru Lilian_ Koboko and Asara Scovia from Maracha.
John Goville, A retired Police Officer and a former athlete who was a chief runner at the event urged youths to embrace the sport that he described as a life changing sport discipline.
” As a former athlete, I want to call upon my fellow athletes in West Nile and Uganda at large to venture into this sport. Am encouraging these athletes to train hard The sport can make you healthy and also get you a job amongst other benefits” Goville told this Publication in an interview.
The chairperson Westnile Sports Officers Association Frederick Isaac Ade commended WENRECO for what he called the great stride towards talent identification and promotion in the region saying support of that nature has been lacking.
” It has been a landmark for WENRECO,. talents has been revived, 10 people out of which 6 are boys from the region have been identified and they shall be sponsored by WENRECO to go for national trials next year in January at Namboole stadium” Ade told Whisper Eye
The 29-year-old Ugandan sprinter Shida Leni, The recent winner of the women’s 400 m at the World Athletics continental tour challenges in Belgium was the chief mentor at the event. She told the athletes to always remain focused, hopeful and determined whilst learning from the previous winners who have remained household names in the country. She also extended sports attire to female participants at the event.
Koboko_Arua city_ Nebbi_Yumbe_ Maracha_ Zombo_Madi Okolo_Adjumani_Moyo_Arua District_Obongi_Pakwach.
The event will be a continuous Process to identify and promote the talented Athletes in the region according to WENRECO.