The southern Challenge is partnering with the Banks town Cricket Club to include used running shoes in their shipments to Uganda. The club has been sending containers full of sporting equipment and gear to Uganda since 2005.

Uganda a land locked country in East Africa, is one of the poorest in the world, as former British colony, it’s not surprising that the population speaks English and loves their cricket.

Donations from Australia have given opportunities to thousands of Ugandans, who would otherwise, be unable to participate in sports. In 2005, before donations from Australia began, there were fewer than 15,000 cricketers in Uganda. Official statistics provided to ICC in 2012, show that are now over 47,193 cricketers, and they attribute this rise almost entirely to the donated equipment from Bankstown.

When the Chief Executive Officer, of Uganda Cricket Association, Justine Ligyalingi visited Australia last month, and was told of the new drive planned for used running shoes, his excitement was palpable. "We have so many athletics, not just cricketers who need shoes, in any condition that this would make a huge difference. We simply don’t have the funds to make sure that every one has shoes for running, playing, or training. When asked about the effectiveness of this programme Justine said you don’t realize what a difference you are making in so many peoples lives".

And this is why the team at Sixty4 Southern Highlands Challenge are getting behind this drive, all what to do, is to donate any unwanted or old shoes, it’s that simple. How many pairs are under your stairs or in the wardrobe, that aren’t your favourite anymore or aren’t quite up to scratch for your running? Put them to good use by giving them to someone who can really use them.

Its worthy pointing out that this programme has now grown so much, that the last container shipped also had school uniforms and books enough to supply a number of schools. So it has grown beyond just a sport, The cost of shipping this equipment, is met by Bankstown Sports Club, typically $8000 to$10,000 per shipment, without their support, this generous programme, couldn’t exist.

We are collecting at various points between now and the race as well as collecting at the event 31st August. You can drop shoes at the 2Xu Store in Paddington, at the Sutherland to Surf the M7 Blacktown Marathon, other venues. If running clubs or groups wish to do their own collection, we will come and pick up your collections from you, from anywhere in Sydney region. Let us know how many bags of shoes you have collected and we will pick them from you.


So, have a chat amongst your running friends and club, arrange to bring in all your no longer needed shoe, collect them all up, and then ring us on 0408 487 092 (Brian) Or 0417 257 984(Marty)

International Cricket Council's Edward Fitzgibbon Gives UCA a big ago ahead in Organizing the ICC Div III World Tourney

International Cricket Council-ICC tournament, inspector in charge of ICC development and events management Edward has no doubts ICC's choice for Uganda to host the ICC Division III tournament was a right one.

After three days of Ovals and Pitch inspections, Edward who landed into the country last Monday told the media Thursday morning that the country has excellent play surfaces for any Cricket player to play on.

Taking the media through his inspection experience of the three lined up Ovals to host the tournament games, he said Entebbe Oval has a good play wicket ground and its field is also leveled and playable.

Coming to Lugogo Oval, the official said there is no doubt Lugogo Cricket Oval is the very best that Uganda has at the moment and while talking about the facility located just below National Council of Sports Offices undergoing renovation, he said it's one of the best Ovals in the East African region if not the best itself.

Fitzgibbon however expressed his skepticism on the Kyambogo Oval. It has a good and playable wicket but somehow its surface is bumpy but between today and October, UCA will have worked on its surface, the hopeful Edward told the media.

One other big concern by the ICC official was that UCA still has a lot of work to upgrade their facilities and put them to the very best of the standards as required by ICC playing field standards.

On the question of whether Uganda is better off than other countries that placed their host bids, Edward said at least the conditions in Uganda are almost the same like those in Bermuda and Nepal countries that had also bid to host the tournament before it was handed over to Uganda.

Its almost the same situation everywhere and there is no doubt Uganda will have the tournament organized successfully, he retaliated.

Uganda has also been a good associate member of ICC and ACA so there is no doubt ICC had to award UCA the rights to host this very important tournament, he added.

Edward, who could not hide his skepticism about the facilities in Uganda, said the tournament will give UCA something to learn from the top ranking ICC umpires and players who will descend to Uganda this October for the tournament.

Edward and Sean, the ICC security manager are in the country to authenticate the ability, security and capacity of the local UCA Ovals.

This inspection exercise that was done over three working days enables the inspection team and the host nation address a host of issues. They scrutinized the facilities and addressed any security concerns to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly come October.

Security meetings have been scheduled with different groups which include the police, national council of sports, embassies and the high commissions for the respective countries that will take part in the ICC Division III tournament.

The two ICC officials then will make their recommendations to the Uganda Cricket Association on what they feel should be done and also make a comprehensive report to their bosses at ICC.

The ICC tournament is scheduled for 26th October to 2nd November 2014.

Hosts Uganda, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, United States of America and Bermuda are the six national teams to compete in the event. The top two earns promotion to the lucrative ICC World Cricket League division II.

By Daniels N. Tatya

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