Athletes with disabilities showcased their immense talent at a sports gala in Kampala, supported by Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) in collaboration with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
The event aimed to create awareness of the potential of People with Disabilities and shed light on the challenges they face on a daily basis.
The gala served as a beacon of hope, encouraging city residents to embrace inclusive sports and physical activity by showcasing the remarkable athletic abilities of the participants.
According to Kirunda Magoola, CCBU Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability Director, the event aimed to break down stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding disability in sports.
“At CCBU, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), we believe in inclusivity and are proud to support activities such as these that seek to empower people with disabilities by showcasing their talent and skills. Individuals with disabilities face many societal misconceptions that hinder their participation in sports and even in the workplace.
“We aim to challenge those misconceptions and foster inclusion and support in the community,” Magoola said.
By celebrating the talents of participants in sports such as volleyball, wheelchair basketball, and boccia, among others, CCBU and KCCA hope to pave way for a brighter future for People with Disabilities in sports.
“Many of the youth with disabilities come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, which further exacerbates their challenges. We want to provide a platform for them to display their skills and showcase their potential to excel in sports and beyond,” said Peace Serunkuma, the Programme Coordinator at Legal Actions for Persons with Disabilities and district council representative.
She added that the competitive spirit of the gala gives participants a sense of accomplishment, instilling confidence and determination to pursue careers in sports.
The event continues to provide a unique opportunity for young people with disabilities to showcase their potential. It proves that the human spirit can achieve greatness, regardless of physical limitations, when barriers are broken and potential is recognised.
“We thank CCBU and KCCA, plus all sponsors of this event. Many times, people like us are left out of some important activities like sports which can be a benchmark for our career. Every year I look forward to this sports gala not only because I make friends who are now part of my support system, but also because this activity gives me a sense of belonging,” said Yasin, a participant in the gala.
In Uganda, an estimated 12% of the population live with a form of disability. Research indicates that they have less access to employment opportunities and inclusion in activities like sports, among others.
“At CCBU, we use our industry leadership to be part of the solution to achieve positive change in the world and to build a more sustainable future for our planet,” said Magoola.
“Our aim is to create greater shared opportunity for the business and the communities we serve across the value-chain. Opportunity is more than just money, it’s about a better future for people and their communities everywhere on the African continent.”