Tuesday, April 23News That Matters

Why one should watch Thunderbirds vs Black Pearls: Rugby Women’s League

Speaking on a Nnalubaale Sports Twitter Space on Wednesday night, Nile Rapids captain Tina Akello said, “The time for some women’s games has to be adjusted. It’s difficult to attract fans for the women’s games when they are played under the hot sun. When there are no other games, they should at least be played at 4 (p.m. local time).”

Women’s rugby matches in Uganda are usually played from noon and earlier in some cases. This is due to a shortage in rugby-ready facilities which forces a tight schedule that prioritises the men’s matches. On a clear sunny day, which Ugandan weather never runs short of, the noon time slot is one of the least desirable for both players and fans alike. Thus, women’s matches are usually played to a handful of fans, most of whom are fellow players (men and boys) waiting to play after them.

To adjust the kickoff times of some of the women’s matches is an appeal those passionate about women’s rugby in Uganda have consistently made to the powers that be. The “radical” ones, including myself, have fearlessly advocated for some women’s matches to be played after the men’s.For example, the Uganda Cup final between Heathens and Rams was such an anti-climax after the absolute cinema Nile Rapids and Avengers had served in the early kickoff. One can only imagine the scenes at Kings Park that day had the fixture schedule been the other way round.