Uganda National Paralympic Committee announced earlier today that Uganda will be sending a delegation to Gavirate, Italy for a national team training camp starting on May 7, and departing May 17. While not stated, the team will almost certainly be competing in or observing the 2015 International Para Rowing and Masters Regatta, scheduled to take place in Gavirate from May 15 to 17.
In January of this year, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron (FISA) donated a rowing machine to the Uganda Para-rowing Federation. Earlier this month, the Uganda Olympic Committee announced that twelve Ugandans have earned FISA’s level 1 coaching certificate.
The rowing initiative that sees the team going to Italy was the brain child of Rodrick Muhumuza. In March of last year, Muhumuza was appointed FISA regional educator in charge of the East, Central and Great Lakes region. The region includes Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Mozambique and Zambia. Prior to taking that role, he was trained in coaching in Kenya and South Africa. He also served as the Ugandan national rowing team coach and a member of the cox 4 rowing team. Muhumuza has Level 2 FISA coaching certification. He took up the sport of rowing himself as a result of growing up on the shores of Lake Victoria in the town of Luzira.
Uganda has never had a rowing competitor represent them at the Paralympic Games. In London, the country was represented by two athletes, David Emong and Christine Akullo, who competed in track and field. In Beijing, Uganda has only one representative, powerlifter Billy Ssengendo. In Athens, Uganda had two track and field representatives. At the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, Uganda had only one representative, swimmer Prossy Tusabe. Uganda only had one representative at the Atlanta Games, powerlifter Richard Bogere. Prior to that, Uganada’s only other appearances were in 1976 when O. Obadiya represented the country in athletics. They had two track and field competitors at the 1972 Summer Paralympics. Uganda’s Tofiri Kibuuka is the country’s only Winter Paralympian, competing in the 1976 and 1980 Winter Paralympics.