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Home News WUC Rugby Sevens: No setback too big for Team Uganda

WUC Rugby Sevens: No setback too big for Team Uganda

Rugby 26 July 2018

A look back at some of the most memorable storylines that didn’t get told during the World University Rugby Sevens Championship in Swakopmund, captured by intrepid U-Media reporter Fabio De Dominicis

Uganda doing their best to keep the Argentines at bay at WUC Rugby Sevens

Three long flights, a missed flight, a midnight arrival and less than ideal preparation, but nothing could stop team Uganda from realising their dream and participating in their first World University Championships Rugby Sevens tournament.


Odur Cosmas is proud to be representing Uganda at the WUC Rugby SevensAfter all they’ve endured so far, one could forgive the team for looking a little down or weary, but it’s the total opposite, with the squad donning permanent smiles as they soak in the atmosphere of their first FISU Rugby Sevens tournament.


“We went through a lot of hardships to be here,” skilful player Odur Cosmas said. “The call-up for training was late, and where we trained from, some of us had to come from very far destinations, so it was a big struggle. But the commitment was there … we were so committed, as this was our first time, so when they called us, we endured.”


Following three weeks of preparation, travelling from Uganda to the coastal town of Swakopmund in Namibia proved to be another challenge, with the team flying via Nairobi in Kenya and then Johannesburg in South Africa, only to then miss their connecting flight to Namibia’s capital Windhoek.


After finally boarding the next flight, they only landed at midnight, and following the last leg of their arduous journey – a three-hour shuttle to Swakopmund – they finally arrived in the host city at 4am the day before the tournament started.


“We just went to sleep that day!” Cosmas laughed, again keeping up his team’s positive spirit despite their logistical troubles. “But we are still very happy to be here, and pray we leave victorious!”


Cosmas, who is studying towards a diploma in Computer Engineering, has been playing sevens rugby for the past five years, and reveals what attracted him to the fast-paced and shorter form of the oval-balled game.

 The Ugandans are all smiles despite their hardships in getting to Namibia

“I love the physical nature of the game,” he says. “And this game has a lot to do with coordination – no-one can ‘ghost’ in sevens rugby … in 15-man rugby, there can be many ‘ghost’ players, but in sevens, everyone has to do their work.


“With God’s grace, I hope to continue playing for my national university team for many more years.”


The 24-year-old says he has enjoyed his time in Namibia so far, though he is yet to fully immerse himself into the environment as he maintains his focus on his job at hand.

 Team Uganda up against Argentina in their first match

“The volunteers and everyone here in Namibia are very hospitable and welcomed us with open arms,” he says. “The Games are still going, so I hope afterwards to interact more with the fellow athletes, because now we are still focused on our remaining games.”


Cosmas believes Namibia’s hosting of such a prestigious event bodes well for Africa, and despite his side’s opening 21-7 loss to Argentina, hopes his country’s mere participation at the games will encourage the next generation of Ugandans to follow suit.


“This is very good for Africa,” he says. “Big ups to Namibia for hosting us – it sets a good example, and I hope other countries will also be inspired to take on such events.


“I hope our participation will inspire other Ugandans to also come to these events, and hope we can open doors for others.”