By Katongole Kiwanuka
The heat of sending a team to the 2014 Commonwealth Glasgow games (23 July — 3 August 2014) is becoming hotter. Now the Uganda Shooting Sport Federation (USSF) which has always sent one representative to the games has a chance to use their unique standing of having President Yoweri Museveni as their patron to move beyond that static.
Museveni can help send a full squad of 8 shooters. Ann Mungoma, the administrator of the federation passionately made the point this week when she said that it was time to use their patron “and I hope the president would listen because we need him to lead on this issue.” And the issue Mungoma loudly nailed to the president is helping the association procure 8 rifles for the shooters ahead of the games.
“The federation has only four rifles yet they are for individuals. The other three we have cannot be used in competitions, so we have to resort to AK-47,” Mungoma told Pepper Sport.
“We need all the shooters we shortlisted to have their own rifles such that they can shoot accurately,” she added. The federation got assurance from security Minister Muruuli Mukasa during a dinner at the completion of a five-day high level coaching course which concluded at Garuga Shooting Range last month.
“The president is so keen and interested in shooting,” Mukasa said.
Each competition rifle costs USD4,000 while each bullet is estimated at Shs4,000.
“During training one needs about 300 rounds yet for competition someone must carry 60 rounds. On top of that we need jackets, trousers, shooting boots, scopes, gloves and a sling cap,” Mungoma explained. The Mungoma family has always represented Uganda in international competitions with Cleopatra Mungoma the one who was in the New Delhi games.
“Much as there are better shooters in Uganda, dad sends his daughters because he is not a charity,” Mungoma said. During the high level coaching course, Assistant Inspector of Police Andrew Sorowen said the forces are keen on sports as it gives them visibility.
“Since Kiprotich (Stephen) won an Olympic medal, we are hungry for more medals. Our challenge is that the equipment is quite expensive but there is will and budgets cannot be our limitation anymore,” Sorowen said.
Renowned German shooting coach and trainer Dr. Uwe Riesterer conducted the training.
“If you have the right shooters, it will not be long before you begin winning medals at the worlds,” he said. Selected shooters will begin training this weekend at Garuga before a final selection is submitted to the Commonwealth organising committee.
SHOOTING TEAM: Sgt. Fredrick Omedi (UPDF), Sgt. Betty Adong (Police), AIP Justine Olila (Police), Pte. Peter Moses Okello (Prisons), Sgt. Kanute Otim (UPDF), Sgt. Sada Chebet (UPDF), Maj. Sam Ngobi (UPDF) and Pte. Benjamin Ogwang (Prisons).