Kampala, Uganda| THE INDEPENDENT REPORTER | Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango is Uganda’s Sports Personality Of The Year 2016.
Onyango was named the country’s best at a glitz and glamour event Friday night by the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA).
The South African based goalkeeper becomes the first individual footballer to be crowned at the prestigious sports press annual event since the inaugural edition in 1974, when legend Polly Ouma was named best sportsman of the year.
The award caps a great year for Onyango, who in January was named Africa’s best home-based football player of 2016. It was also a year when he helped Uganda Cranes qualify for their first Africa Cup of Nations finals in 38 years, and led his South African club Mamelodi Sundowns to the African title and to the World club cup.
Onyango took most votes from Uganda’s sports press, edging out Olympian Emong and rugby player Phillip Wokorach. USPA named Emong and Wokorach top in their individual sports in 2016.
The awards are one of Uganda’s oldest, with USPA having annually awarded the best since the early 70s. Sabiiti Muwanga, an editor at Vision Group, is the President USPA.
Museveni gives USPA SACCO sh30m
Maj General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Senior Presidential Advisor, was chief guest at the sh100m Nile Breweries sponsered USPA gala at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. NSSF are USPA’s other main partners at the glamarous awards ceremony.
He hailed USPA for their exemplary performance and for attracting sponsors like Nile Breweries, NSSF and City Tyres. He also said it is important USPA continues giving prominence to sports achievement, as it helps improve the wellbeing of youth, and gives them an opportunity to make a mark in life.
“It is good many young Ugandans are into sports. Sports is not only a big business, but improves your health,” he said. (see tweets page 2)
Kainerugaba recognised USPA’s effort at being self-sustaining by starting a savings scheme (SACCO), and announced that President Yoweri Museveni has boosted the initiative with sh30 million.
Previous winners of the prestigious USPA award include athletics legends Ruth Kyalisima, Justin Arop, Francis Ogola, Julius Oacon, Dorcus Inzikuru, Moses Kipsiro and Stephen Kiprotich.
The Uganda Cranes team were crowned in 1989 and 1990.
USPA SPORTS PERSONALITIES OF 2016
Sports Personality of the year
Denis Onyango (Football)
Team of the year
Sports Event of the year
National Open Pool Championship
Best Run federation 2016
Uganda Cricket Association
The USPA LEGEND AWARD – SHEILA AGONZIBWE
Winners in respective sports disciplines
Male: David Emong
Female: Juliet Chekwel
The crew of Jas Mangat and Joseph Kamya
Male: Ronald Otile
Female: Flavia Namakula
Male: Henry Ssenyondo
Female: Stephanie Nampina
Male: Sula Matovu
Female: Vicky Namuyanja
Male: Brian Kasirye
Female: Shamim Bangi
Male: Gilton Chelibe
Female: Halima Nambozo
Male: Onesmus Atamba
Female: Lillian Zawedde