Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Rugby Africa, the administrative body of rugby unions in Africa has today concluded a COVID-19 relief campaign in which they have distributed aid worth EUR 170,000 from their solidarity fund to 31 rugby federations around the continent.
Among the countries that have benefited include Uganda where the Uganda Rugby Union-URU was offered UGX 21,545,000 (EUR 5000) to purchase food parcels and personal protective gear for players.
According to the URU president Godwin Kayangwe, this money will be used to benefit a total of 1500 players, 25 playing facilities and referees.
Other countries that were offered aid include; Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eswatini (Swaziland), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius Rugby, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
According to a statement shared this morning by the executive committee of Rugby Africa, with the fund, they wanted to send a signal of support and hope to their members who were severely challenged by the crisis which came with lockdowns that the game in many parts of the world couldn’t continue happening.
“Our development work and strategy obviously goes way beyond the solidarity fund which was a unique project in the history of Rugby Africa so far. All across the continent, countries return step by step to train and play rugby in line with the government and health guidelines. Health and safety remain the highest priority but Rugby Africa is getting ready to return to action”, the statement reads in part.
However, while the aid was tagged to emergency food packages, medical support as well as personal protective equipment, in Uganda, with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni lifting the lockdown on sports activities on Sunday with strict measures of players having to take a COVID-19 test, there’s another challenge as federations decry huge expenses on testing that they can’t afford.