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The Annual Nile Special USPA Awards Gala gears up for new celebration

AIPS president Gianni Merlo handing over the legendary award to former motorcross champion Arthur Blick Senior (Photo: USPA)
by Ritah Aliguma, USPA Vice-president
KAMPALA, April 27, 2016 - The much anticipated annual Nile Special USPA Awards Gala will be held at Serena Hotel on April 29 2016.
Legendary cricketer Sam Walusimbi is the recipient of the Nile Special USPA Legend award for 2015, an award decided by the USPA top executive.
When informed about the award, the excited veteran coach said he was very honoured to be recognized by USPA as a legend and that the award means so much to him. “I am overjoyed that someone out there recognizes and appreciates what I did for Cricket and sports in general. It feels really great that I am not recognized after passing on, which is the case for most sportsmen in this country”, he said.
Walusimbi is one of only two Ugandans to play at a cricket world cup where he was involved in 3 One Day Internationals (ODIs). The right-handed batsman made his ODI debut against Newzealand at Edgbaston on 7th June 1975 while his last was against England at the same venue on 14th June 1975. He played in the 1986 and 1990 editions of the ICC Trophy and led Wanderers Cricket Club to league success in 1993 at the age of 45, among so many other achievements.
One of golfer Ronald Otile, bodybuilder Ivan Byekwaso and netballer Rachael Nanyonga who made three-man shortlist for the main award will be crowned the 2015 Nile Special-USPA Sportsman of the Year at the function
Over six athletes who have dominated in different disciplines over the years will be returning to the awards podium for the second time in two years.
Others are making a hat-trick of appearances at the prestigious 45 year old high profile event that started in 1970.
Leading the ‘returnees’, is Arthur Blick who has been a regular figure at the gala, having won the national motocross championship a record ten times. Having won in motocross several times, he returns with Unisan Bakunda as the Nile Special USPA Rally Crew of 2015.
Female Darts player Dinah Amoding, rugby player Michael Wokoach, volley baller George Aporu, female golfer Flavia Namakula, badminton player Edwin Ekiring and Squash player Michael Kawooya are making hat-trick of appearances on the gala podium.
Boxer Fazil Juma Kaggwa, motocross rider Maxime Van Pee, basket baller Kami Kabange, wood baller Joan Mukova, tennis player Duncan Mugabe and body builder Ivan Byekwaso are returning to the awards for the second consecutive time in three years.
Footballers of the year Denis Onyango and Sandra Nabweteme, golfer Ronald Otile, netballer Rachael Nanyonga and Karatakers Ronald Mwanje and Lindah Ochen are some of the athletes making their debut on the awards list with a bright chance of making it back next year in their respective sports.

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