The Uganda Cranes’ fans under their umbrella organisation Uganda Cranes Initiative on Wednesday morning started a fundraising drive to raise money to support the national team during a press conference Wednesday morning at Rivonia Suites in Mbuya Kampala.
The Uganda Cranes Initiative is a fans’ support organisation formed to raise funds for supporting the national team ahead of the CECAFA championship. The initiative that was formed two weeks ago to appeal for public support for the national team seeks shs 200m to boost the team.
The conference kicked off with the Chairman, Robert Kabushenga, stating that the Cranes need support from everyone as the team prepares for the CECAFA championship which kicks off next week and Uganda will be seeking to retain the trophy it won last year.
“If 10,000 people contribute sh20,000 each we will hit this target (sh200m) within no time,” Kabushenga said.
Kabushenga also reassured the press that the Uganda Cranes Initiative had no intentions of taking over management of the team.
During the conference, it was revealed that the Cranes will, for the first time, have branded jerseys with their names during the upcoming tournament.
The conference that was attended by Miss Uganda Phiona Bizzu and Cranes Coach Bobby Williamson saw a host of corporate companies pledging support to the Uganda cranes. Other UCI member present included Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya Johnson Byarabaha, Primus Agaba and Simon Kaheru
Rwenzori water contributed 250 cartons of water, SMS Media pledged goal keeper gloves and playing shoes, all laundry services will be provided by Sheraton Uganda, Lifelink Medical health services will avail ambulances for first aid during the tournament and the Cranes will be residing at the magnificent Rivonia Suites in Mbuya and have access to the wold-class gym located at the same place.
Below is the full UCI Press statement
THE Uganda Cranes Initiative today launched a drive for over Ushs200million from members of the general public wishing to support the Uganda Cranes in the impending CECAFA Tournament to be hosted in Kampala this month.
The Ushs200million will be used for, among other expenses, purchasing new playing kits for players, upgrading the accommodation of the team during training and games, and improved medical attention during the next one month.
UCI Chairman Robert Kabushenga, flanked by FUFA Technical Director Mujib Kasule and Cranes Coach Bobby Williamson, announced the drive this morning at the new training home of the Cranes – Rivonia Suites in Mbuya.
“We all know that the Cranes have been given whatever support the official channels can provide now, so we are now calling on all supporters to top up and guarantee victory in CECAFA. There are millions of fans out there, and if all of them become supporters we can achieve this very easily. If 10,000 people contribute Ushs20,000 each we will hit this target within no time,” Kabushenga said.
The interventions chosen by the Uganda Cranes Initiative (UCI) also include a total of 250 cartons of bottled drinking water for the team during training and games, which has been offered by Rwenzori Bottling Company.
“We have also made arrangements to move the players from Sky Hotel to Rivonia Suites in Mbuya, which is closer to the training grounds and to Nambole, and also offers much more comfort and better amenities. The gym here is much better equipped, and in general the team will have world class facilities to keep them in the best psychological shape even as they work on their physical shape,” Kabushenga added.
Rivonia Suites has offered the accommodation at a discounted rate, as part of their contribution to the Cranes.
Mujib Kasule welcomed the interventions as timely and “high impact”.
“The focus on direct benefits to the players is bound to pay off. UCI has decided to address even medical welfare, and will be seeking to get us high quality physiotherapists together with equipment and medicines or treatment that will support high on-pitch performance. We are quite happy with this progress,” Kasule said.
Contributions are being sent by Mobile Money to the number 0788 162 001with the reason ‘Cranes’, or deposited directly to the following bank accounts in the name ‘New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited’:
Contributions by cheque should be written out to ‘New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited’, while cash contributions will be received at The New Vision offices on Plot 19/21, First Street, Industrial Area.
The UCI also announced that the Uganda Cranes will this Saturday host a Fans’ Day at the KCCA Grounds in Lugogo, along Jinja Road.
During the Fans’ Day, the Uganda Cranes players will interact with fans and supporters of the team and their families.
“All Ugandans should come and meet their football representatives this Saturday. The team will be training but we will allow them to take breaks to interact with the fans, take photographs and spend time with their public face-to-face. After Saturday they will be in camp and we will not be able to allow any interruptions to training because we need to be focused on the CECAFA task ahead,” said Bobby Williamson.