The National Male Netball Team is getting ready to rock in the International Men’s Netball championship scheduled for September 14-18, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The Rock, a name Ms Bibirye Sarah Kityo the Uganda Netball Federation president said signifies the foundation and protection men give women (She Cranes), are currently in a residential training camp at the Kampala University in Ggaba.
As part of preparations, The Rock played three practice matches against senior women netball clubs today at Kibuli Police Grouds.
In the first game, The Rock beat National Insurance Corporation (NIC) 36-45, won
23-25 against Weyonje Netball Club in the second match and closed the day with a
14-20 victory over Police.
Kiwanuka Vicent, the interim coach said, “the reason for practicing against senior women teams is to examine whether the players can perfect what they have learnt in the past few days.”
He noted, “although some are yet to be effected, most of the tactics are gradually sinking into the players’ mind.”
Kiwanuka added, “it’s true that the team has trained for only four days but I can see a big positive change and this is because the players love what they are doing.”
Like his coach, team captain Kato Hassan believes that trial games will have a big impact on the team’s readiness.
“The games are helping to improve on our movements and coordination,” he said.
Kato added, “such games help us a lot to improve on our fitness and discipline.”
Both coach and captain hope for more practice matches against other women teams as well as men select teams before traveling to South Africa.
If it’s possible, Mr Kiwanuka requested that UNF gets him the senior women national team, the She Cranes. According to Kiwanuka, because they have played together for some time, the national team will provide his side with the required and real test.
A total of 26 players are being taken through drills at the moment. However, Mr Kiwanuka said for purposes of proper monitoring, the team will by the end of Sunday be trimmed to a smaller number.
Uganda and other eight teams will be fighting for the ultimate prize at the end of the tournament. And despite the fact that Kiwanuka and his boys are competing in their maiden international championship, he said they are going for nothing but victory.
“I know this will be our first outing as a team. But for those who have followed me, you know I’m a winner. Therefore, even in South Africa, we want to make a record and win it at our first attempt,” he said.