The Uganda Handball Super League 2023/24 season started with a bang on Saturday at the Old Kampala Arena.
The opening match-day featured four thrilling encounters, with Prisons and Police’s teams clinching victories.
Prisons Women’s team got off to a great start by defeating Nkajja 31-19, while Police Women’s team outclassed Kawanda 41-30.
In the Men’s category, Prisons Handball Club clinched a narrow 33-30 victory over UPDF-A, while Police Handball Club edged past UPDF-B 37-31.
During the match between Police Handball Club and UPDF-B, a dramatic turn of events unfolded as Police, who had dominated the first half with a 13-goal lead, faced a challenge in the second half from UPDF who staged a comeback.
Arnold Kahuma, the captain of the Police Handball team, explained that the team’s subpar performance in the second half was due to the players’ desire to try out new skills, which was encouraged by their significant lead in the first half.
“…we started well with a big margin, but we became complacent as we went on to play. In the second half we wer trying to experiment some of the moves we have practiced on the training ground. So we thought with the bigger margin, it would be a good time to do that. They were just novice moves and most of them worked for us since we didn’t lose.”
Newly appointed Head Coach to the Police Men’s Handball Club Frank Wine Ssemujju expressed his confidence in the team and was quick to comment that they are here to dethrone the 2022/23 defending champions, Ndejje University Hoppers.
“…we are here to take the trophy, last time we finished third, but now I am here to win.” Said Frank as he bragged about winning last season’s league title with the ladies team.
The majority of clubs in the Uganda Handball Super League are academic institutions, and the delayed release of fixtures has been linked to the ongoing university examinations.
Many of these institutions have reduced sporting activities during this period to minimize the risk of student injuries.
Coaches and players have been facing difficulties in preparing for the Uganda Handball Super League season due to the absence of a complete set of fixtures before the first match-day.
Federation officials have attributed this delay to the clubs’ failure to make their venue choices in a timely manner.
Dan Musoke, Chairman of the Sports Organizing Committe revealed that the next set of matches will be held at the police children grounds in Nsambya, giving the teams ample time to prepare for their upcoming matches and strive to win the highly sought-after trophy.
Despite these setbacks, the opening match-day attracted a decent turnout of fans who were excited to witness the return of the Handball Super League.
Following the conclusion of the first match-day, Police Handball Club tops the Men’s table with a four-goal lead over Prisons Handball Club, who secured a second-place finish after defeating UPDF-A.