By Dorothy Nekesa
Following the premature cancellation of the Nile Stout Premier Rugby League in September this year, Hima Cement Heathens emerged champions of the 2019/20 season with 63 points.
The defending champions led with five points ahead of challengers Betway Kobs although the league fell short of completion by five games to go for all teams due to the Covid pandemic outbreak.
Heathens were later declared champions to claim a record 15th league title and officially received their trophy at a colourful function on Saturday held at their home Kyadondo Rugby Club.
Heathens Skipper Michael Wokorach was so happy leading his side to yet another title and in his acceptancy speech he said,”Congratulations to us for retaining the trophy. It is an honour to be record league winners and going forward we can only get better.”
“We would have loved to win it after completing all our games if Covid-19 had not hit the World. Thanks to my teammates let’s celebrate raising the trophy once again,” Wokorach added.
Nile Special Stout’s Francis Nyende hailed Heathens acknowledging the challenges faced by sport this year.
He said that neither clubs nor stakeholders had the financial muscle and capacity to sustainably meet the return to play conditions for resuming the league.
Nyende thanked all teams that participated in the league saying “we don’t take it for granted” it’s been a challenging year but next year will be bigger and better. But all winners will get their package despite the league ending prematurely.
Presiding over the ceremony, URU president Godwin Kayangwe revealed that it’s been a tough year for rugby although the Union is planning for a safe return to play in 2021.
In September the cheapest cost of testing each player was sh240,000 which was a heavy load for clubs, sponsor or Uganda Rugby Union to shoulder, one Club of 30 players and staff would require UGX 14,400,000 per month of activity.