Despite the organizational challenges that manifested during the Dragon Boat racing Championship build up on Sunday at the Lake Victoria Shores in Kitubulu, it was an exciting day as hundreds of locals from around Entebbe Municipality, Katabi Town Council, Chinese community in Uganda and comical Ugandan Kickboxing star Moses Golola graced the build-up and trials. A total of ten teams participated in the build-up who mainly comprised of Fisher folk plying their trade at different landing site in Entebbe.
Kasenyi Landing site emerged overall winners and walked away with a cash prize of Three Hundred Thousand Uganda Shillings (Shs300, 000). Bugonga Landing site finished in second position and walked away with Shs200, 000, Nakiwogo (A) finished third and received Shs150, 000 for their success. Nakiwogo (B), Nakiwogo (C) and Kigungu finished in fourth, fifth and sixth positions and each earned a cash prize of Shs110, 000.
Vincent Musubire, the Director External Relations, China-Africa Friendship Association Uganda (CAFAU) hailed Entebbe Municipal Council for accepting to host the first Dragon Boat rowing festival in Uganda.
“I would like to thank Mayor Vincent Kayanja and Entebbe Municipal Council for accepting to host the first ever Dragon Boat festival in Uganda. Uganda is now second in Africa to host the event after South Africa. Through the China-Africa Friendship Association Uganda we shall take the game to the next level and ensure that whoever is taking on the game professionally benefits including the Fishermen”, Vincent Musubire stated.
“I’m grateful for partnering with CAFAU who are the main architects of the Dragon Boat Festival and I’m confident that through such events we shall be able to develop Lake Victoria as a tourist attraction. I appeal to Entebbe and Katabi Town Council residents to love the game. We apologise for all the organizational challenges since it’s our first time to host such an event. Next year we shall be better as we look forward to organizing the Dragon Boat Festival annually.
Meanwhile Robert Kanusu, the internationally Certified Dragon Boat umpire and communications officer, Dragon Boat Federation of Africa appealed to Ugandans to embrace the game because it is one of the games in the Olympics. He said that the best team will have an opportunity to participate in the world Dragon Boat Racing Championship in China, Yunnan Province, Duanch River in September 2017.
Two more build-ups will be held at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (Entebbe zoo) where the main event will take place on Sunday and one team will be selected to represent to represent Entebbe Municipality. A total of 36 teams are expected to take part in the event.
A host of several of musicians from the Golden Band, Eddy Kenzo, Rema, Phina Mugerwa “Masanyalaze”, Rockies troupe and Moses Golola will entertain and spice up the day.