Uganda's Triumph: Overcoming Challenges-the She Cranes in Ugandan Netball conquer Africa finishing 5th

Aug 7, 2023 - 15:06
Uganda's Triumph: Overcoming Challenges-the She Cranes in Ugandan Netball conquer Africa finishing 5th
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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA- Uganda's national netball team, the She Cranes, showcased their talent and determination at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town. Defeating South Africa for the second time in a year in a major tournament, the She Cranes claimed a hard-fought 49-47 victory over the Proteas to finish in an impressive 5th position. This achievement comes after a similar triumph at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where Uganda also secured victory over South Africa in the playoff for 5th/6th position. Let's delve into the match's highlights and the outstanding performance of the She Cranes.

Tense Start and Early Lead

The match began tentatively, with both teams making loose passes and missing opportunities to score. However, it was Uganda's Goal Attack, Shadiah Nassanga, who opened the scoring in the second minute, setting the tone for the She Cranes. Despite South Africa's efforts to level the scores, Uganda capitalized on their errors, gaining a slight advantage to finish the first quarter 12-11 up.

Strong Defensive Effort and Mid-Game Lead

Throughout the game, Uganda displayed a strong defensive effort, disrupting South Africa's play with excellent interceptions and turnovers. Despite South Africa's attempts to regain momentum, Uganda continued to dominate, converting turnovers into crucial points. The lead changed hands several times during the match, but the She Cranes held their ground, entering halftime with the scores level at 23-all.

Fierce Battle in the Second Half

The third quarter witnessed a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, with the lead changing hands repeatedly. Uganda maintained possession and capitalized on South Africa's mistakes, extending their lead to 39-37 by the end of the quarter. South Africa had to play catchup as Uganda enjoyed the lion's share of possession, putting the Proteas on the defensive.

Mary Cholhok - Uganda's Most Valuable Player

Throughout the match, Mary Cholhok, Uganda's Goal Shooter, displayed exceptional skill and performance, earning her the title of the team's Most Valuable Player. Her contributions on the court were instrumental in the She Cranes' success, demonstrating her prowess and leadership in netball.

Meanwhile, according to John Kusolo Journalist,, in a country with a rich sporting history, Ugandan women's sports, particularly netball, has faced numerous obstacles to survival and success. From inadequate transport and allowances to limited sponsorships and poor means of travel, the She Cranes, Uganda's national netball team, have persevered through difficult circumstances to achieve victory on the international stage. Despite facing tough playing conditions and financial constraints, the She Cranes have managed to overcome the odds and bring pride to their nation through their remarkable achievements in various championships.

Challenges Faced by the She Cranes

1. Tough Playing Conditions and Inadequate Allowances

The She Cranes have endured significant hardships during their training sessions and international tournaments. The meager allowance of Shs3,000 provided by the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) is barely enough to cover lunch and water expenses during training, forcing many players to choose between nutrition and hydration. Intensive training without proper meals jeopardizes their health and performance. This lack of financial support reflects the struggle of many athletes in less recognized sports across the country.

2. Lack of Sponsorship and Government Support

The absence of sponsorship and insufficient government support adds to the challenges faced by the She Cranes. The team has missed opportunities to participate in international events due to a lack of financial backing. In some instances, they have been informed of reduced team sizes just days before the event due to a failure in securing funds for the entire squad. Despite these demoralizing setbacks, the passion for the game drives the players to continue training and competing.

3. Poor Means of Travel

The She Cranes have encountered difficulties in traveling to international tournaments, often having to endure long journeys by road. Spending three to four days and nights on the road takes a toll on the players' physical and mental well-being. These arduous trips have resulted in disorganized, dirty, and unprepared appearances at competitions, affecting the team's image and competitiveness. Such challenges highlight the need for better transportation facilities for athletes.

The Triumph of the She Cranes

1. Success in International and Continental Competitions

Despite the numerous obstacles they face, the She Cranes have managed to defy the odds and achieve success on the international stage. Despite being unranked due to a lack of international exposure, they demonstrated determination and skill to return home with a crown. Their victories are a testament to their resilience and dedication, proving that talent and passion can triumph over adversity.

2. Inspiring the Nation

The achievements of the She Cranes have had a significant impact on the nation. Their success in netball has garnered attention and admiration, serving as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, especially young girls, to pursue their sporting dreams despite the challenges they may face. The She Cranes' determination and grit have instilled a sense of national pride and unity, uniting the country behind their endeavors.


The She Cranes' journey in Ugandan netball reflects the struggles and triumphs of women's sports in the country. Despite facing tough playing conditions, financial constraints, and inadequate support, the team's resilience and passion have led to remarkable achievements on the international stage. Their victories in various championships have not only brought pride to Uganda but have also inspired a new generation of athletes to pursue their dreams, demonstrating that with determination and dedication, success can be achieved even in the face of adversity. The challenges they have overcome make their victories all the more remarkable and exemplify the power of sport to uplift individuals and unite nations. The She Cranes' story serves as a reminder of the importance of investing in women's sports and providing equal opportunities for athletes to excel on the global stage.

John Kusolo John Kusolo, a Ugandan Journalist, Sport fanatic, Tourist, Pastor, and Motivational Speaker. I am passionate about my work with a steady source of motivation that drives me to do my best. I am ambitious and driven. I thrive on challenge and constantly set goals for myself, so I have something to strive toward. Socials: John Kusolo on facebook and Twitter.