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10 July 2013 | in Artistic Gymnastics, Summer Universiade

Uganda’s Bright Future in Sports

An attentive Julius Kwago experiencing gymnastics for the first time

KAZAN - The Administrative Assistant of the University Sports Federation of Uganda had never seen gymnastics in person before today.

“I didn’t know what I was coming to,” said Julius Kwago. Kwago is part of the five-person delegation representing Uganda and is helping look after the 28 Ugandan athletes competing at the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.

But Kwago has his eyes on the games for a second reason.

"We are hosting the World University Cross Country Championships next year,” he said. “I am helping to organize it.”

Uganda beat out the USA to be able to host the event and Kwago thinks seeing this Universiade will help in the development of his ideas for the Ugandan games.

“This is much bigger...it’s all the sports,” he said, but he has high hopes for the quality of the event because his people are “extremely hospitable.”

“Because Uganda was a British colony, we speak fluent English. That makes it easier to communicate than here,” Kwago said, referring to the language barrier of being in Russia.

Over 100 countries are expected to participate in the cross-country championships and Kwago hopes it will attract tourism and more events to Uganda.

With more money coming into Ugandan sports, Kwago said they would be able to send more athletes to future Universiades in sports like volleyball, one of the country’s most popular activities.

“It costs us around $1,800 US to come here for one person,” he commented.

He will continue to look for sponsors and resources to aid in the growth of sports in his country, but for now he will cheer on the Ugandan athletes competing in this year’s university games.

Kelcey Wright/FISU Young Reporter (CAN)