Paralympic swimmer Husnah Kukundakwe won the best swimmer’s award for August at the Real Star Monthly Awards, today in Kampala.
She beat Kirabo Namutebi and Tendo Mukalazi to clinch the monthly prize.
In August, Husnah won six medals, two Gold, three Silver, and one Bronze at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey to make the month’s nominee list.
Tendo Mukalazi was nominated for his national record in the Men’s 100m freestyle during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games while Kirabo Namutebi won a Silver at the ISSF games in Konya, Turkey, and also set a national record at the Africa Championship in Tunisia.
“For me, the award means my efforts as a swimmer is appreciated, despite being a person with special needs. This motivates other persons with disabilities to join the sport.” Husnah said.
When asked why she chose swimming out of all the sports disciplines there are to offer, Kukundakwe said she tried other sports as well, but swimming has always been her calling.
“I have always loved to swim. I was two years when I first entered a pool and I have not left since then that’s why I almost cried in quarantine when I couldn’t swim. I have tried other sports like basketball, volleyball, and football but I think swimming is the sport that was made for me.” She explained.
The swimmer is currently preparing for the Citi Para Swimming World Series 2023 in Singapore, followed by the World Para Swimming Championships in Manchester, all driving her towards her target, the Paris 2024 Paralympic games, where she hopes to win a medal.
Speaking to Husnah’s Coach Muzafaru Muwanguzi about his experience coaching a para-athlete, this is what he had to say.
“She is the first para-athlete I have worked with and after three years of working together, I think I understand what it takes. It was a challenge in the first phase because the team I worked with didn’t have a para-athlete and there was no time to create a separate program for her so we had to integrate her into the available program but of course with a lot of improvising on equipment and drills, but so far, it has been an exciting journey for me.”
Muwanguzi just like his student, was excited to receive the award and he remarked that Husnah works hard just like all the other Athletes and the award will keep her motivated.
“Am very excited about the achievement because it is a sign of progress for me as a coach and a motivation to the athlete. I don’t distinguish her much from other athletes as it takes away her responsibility to work hard so we look at her as any other athlete.” He added.
JKL Dolphin’s Brenda Ekone won basketballer of the month, after guiding her team to the NBL semi-finals play-offs with 42 points on the score sheet to her name.
Also nominated in the category was KIU Titan’s Isaiah Mabeny and Ranger’s Ninette Uniweze whose teams as well qualified for the NBL semi-final play-offs.
In a big contest, Phiona Nabbumba beat Travis Mutyaba and Dan Serunkuma to win August footballer of the month.
Nabbumba scored six goals in five matches at the CECAFA Women’s Champions League Qualifiers as her side She Corporates reached the tournament final, though later lost 1-0 to Simba Queens.
Travis Mutyaba scored a lone goal as Uganda edged past Tanzania in the first leg of the CHAN Qualifier while Serunkuma was nominated for his five goals in two games for the Ndiga Clan that reached the final of the Bika football tournament.
Jacob Kiplimo won the Athletes category against Peruth Chemutai and Abel Chebet as Duncan Mubiru Kikankane and Co-driver Musa Nsubuga beat Mike Mukula Jr and driver Ronald Sebuguzi to take home the Rally drivers’ award.
Duncan Mubiru won the 5th round of the National Rally Championship at 1:30:52 seconds, in Masaka.
The Real Star Awards are held monthly, to acknowledge sportsmen and women excelling at their different sports disciplines in Uganda.