KAMPALA – The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi flagged off a 110 strong team of UPDF sportswomen and Men for Nairobi Kenya to participate in the 12th Edition of the East African Military Games and cultural events at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs headquarters Mbuya hill.
The events are scheduled to run from 11th-24th Aug 2019.
The Uganda contingent code-named “Mission Uganda” is comprised of: Team football, Team Netball, Team Volleyball, Team Basketball and team Cross Country together with Referees and Umpires.
Mission Uganda will be under the overall leadership of Brig Francis Takirwa the UPDF Member of parliament while the Contingent Commander is Col John Mark Ssemanda who is also the UPDF Director of Sports. The event will be conducted under the theme; “One people, one Destiny” with six countries that form the EAC block participating. They include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
In his remarks to the teams, Gen. Mbadi expressed his optimism that mission Uganda will come back home with trophies as they have always done. He cautioned the teams to keep discipline while in Kenya and be good ambassadors. “You are our ambassadors and therefore the known UPDF discipline is expected of you, respect the culture and professional values of the host country in order to exhibit a good image of Uganda and the Institution of UPDF,” said Gen Mbadi.
He also said that winning trophies is secondary but what is primary is promoting and embracing brotherhood, widening and deepening the EAC integration and enhancing the EAC treaty on cooperation in defence.
“You should deepen the EAC appreciation of the benefits of integration especially by our civilian counterparts through such events as well as strengthening interoperability with sister EAC Forces” he added.
Gen Mbadi emphasized on the promotion of sports as important in the lives of combatants since it does not only promote discipline but also enhances fitness, health and wellness.
Mission Uganda head Brig Francis Takirwa promised to bring back the contingent with success and keep watch over them to ensure compliance with the games etiquettes. He called on the team to remain united but make friends through a healthy interaction.
UPDF sports contingent came third in the same Games and Culture events held in Burundi last year. They scooped a number of medals which included Silver in football and netball, Bronze in volleyball and came second in cross country. Kenya took the first position while Tanzania was third.
The function was attended by the Chiefs and directors of UPDF and several senior UPDF officers.