The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi has today flagged off a 110-man strong team of UPDF sports women and men for Nairobi Kenya to participate in the 12th Edition of the East African Military Games and cultural events.
The event took place at the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs headquarters, Mbuya hill.
The Ugandan 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.
The events are scheduled to run from 11th-24th Aug 2019. Mission Uganda will be under the overall leadership of Brig Francis Takirwa the UPDF representative in 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; including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
In his remarks during the flagging off ceremony, Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi expressed his optimism that mission Uganda will come back home with trophies as they have always done. He cautioned the teams to maintain 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 and defense.
“You should deepen the EAC appreciation of the benefits of integration especially by our civilian counterparts through such events as well as strengthening inter-operation-ability 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.
The head of Mission Uganda Brig Francis Takirwa promised to bring back the contingent with success and keep watch over them to ensure compliance with the games etiquette. He called on the team to remain united but make friends through a healthy interaction.
UPDF sports contingent came third in sports Games and Culture events held in Burundi last year. They scooped a number of medals which included Silver in football and netball, Bronze in volley ball and came second in cross country. Kenya took the first position while Tanzania was third.