Uganda Hosts the AASC for the second year running.
Best known as the pearl of Africa, its succulent bananas and pineapples, and friendly people, Uganda is rapidly turning into the hub of badminton in Africa. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 proved to be the turning point for this renowned badminton nation. Led by a dynamic team, the Uganda Badminton Association (UBA) delivered world-class events one after the other, ensuring African players didn’t miss out on competition opportunities as many countries cancelled tournaments due to the pandemic.
Simon Mugabi, the CEO of UBA and BCA Chair of Events, attributes Uganda’s success to passion, hard work, commitment, and his expertise in hosting events in Uganda and Africa.
“Our priority at all times is the safety of our players. The biggest challenge last year was having the capacity to test everyone involved in the championships plus keeping them in the bubble as per the BWF and BCA Covid-19 set guidelines.” Simon said in an interview with BCA Tv.
“We began the year with the Uganda International 2021, held from the 25th to the 28th of February. The tournament attracted players from 8 countries. Hosting this tournament as per the international standards and running it successfully without any mishaps at a time when even the most experienced countries in hosting badminton events were cancelling was a key milestone for me” He added.
“The successful hosting of Uganda International under the Covid-19 protocols also gave our Government and investors the confidence needed to support us” said Mr. Simon.
Uganda was also gracious enough to host the All Africa Senior Championships 2021, from the 21st to the 28th of October, attracting 11 African nations. The BCA president Mr. Michel Bau from Seychelles, and Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport General Edward Katumba presided over its colourful opening ceremony.
“The AASC is Africa’s Premier event and, it was disappointing not to have the spectators in the arena due to the Covid-19 guidelines. Luckily with the introduction of live streaming of BCA tournaments, the fans were spoilt for choice on which game to follow” Said the newly elected UBA President, Madam Annette Nakamya.
“As a country, we accepted to host the AASC 2021 after its postponement in February, fully prepared for the challenges of hosting it in this pandemic era” She added.
To crown the year, Uganda also managed to host the Uganda Parabadminton International 2021. Supported by the Agitos Foundation, Uganda was hosting the tournament for a record 4th time.
Uganda was among the few African countries that managed to host tournaments in 2021. Other African countries that delivered spectacular events in 2021 were: Benin, Botswana, and South Africa.
When asked about the challenges facing African countries in hosting events Simon had this to say.
“One of the key challenges facing most Member Associations is the dependency on Government funding and, I would like to encourage them to look for corporate sponsorships when planning for their events and, if the Government comes in then, that will be a boost. They also need to be transparent and treat the sponsors as partners”
“Everything is in place to ensure the 2022 edition of the AASC will be even bigger and better than last year. We will welcome everyone with open hands as per our culture and, may the best team win the championships and represent our mother Africa in the Thomas and Uber finals come May in Bangkok, Thailand.