Mbarara. At the final whistle Saturday evening, Kampala Amputee Stars ran, shouted, smiled, raised their crutches, standing by one leg, wallowed in the muddy patches of Kakyeka Stadium, celebrating, not just another emphatic victory over their archrivals but also their first national championship.
Goals by super striker Alex Mugerwa and Kanyike in both halves gave Kampala a 2-0 win over Mubende Rehabilitation Centre, their biggest victory in their history.
MRC’s war veterans, who struggled in a 1-1 draw against upstarts Mbarara on Friday, had to beat their direct rivals to retain their title at the National Paralympics Gala.
But Kampala showed their determination to continue to their recent dominance over MRC, defeating them for the fourth time in a row.
“It’s a great pleasure,” captain Abel Tabule said.”We always work hard to improve on our weak areas, and this is a great reward for us.”
Isingiro failed to field a team and the technical committee awarded three points and two goals to the three other teams, hence Kampala’s nine-point victory in a round-robin contest. MRC, the first team to master the art of soccer on crutches, were dominant against Kampala since 2013.
But recent performances show that the wounded veterans’ powers are steadily declining as their age is advancing. In the multi-sport gala for people with disabilities, hosts Mbarara took the trophy for the best community team.
The hosts mustered 568 points followed by Arua on 330, Gulu on 187. Kampala, who also won the wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball honours gathered 108 points.
On 793 points Kyambogo was the best university, follows by Makerere on 183, Mubs 161 and Gulu on 36.
Mbarara also won the primary schools trophy on 687 points, while St Francis Madera School, Soroti took the secondary schools equivalent on 659 points.
Individual sports teams frowned for braving the afternoon downpour on a soggy pitch and not getting trophies but sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi, rewarded medals to the best performers in athletics.
He also promised to engage the Uganda Paralympic Committee to encourage government to increase on the funding of disability sport “because it has shown huge potential.