Shooters rally to Ugandan cause
22 July 2002
Shooters at Bisley have embraced the spirit of the Friendly Games and rallied round to ensure the Ugandan team will be able to compete in the Commonwealth Games.
Rifle shooters Musawur Ahmad and Cleopatra Mungoma arrived in England on 22 July for their first ever Games only to discover they couldn’t import their firearms from the factory in Germany.
When word went around the Athletes Village, offers of equipment loans flooded in. Bisley doctor Ron Carter even loaned his shooting jacket to Ahmad, a 38-year-old dentist from Kampala.
The Ugandan team will now face an uphill struggle with just a few days to get used to unfamiliar guns.
“If we’d brought the guns into England, we wouldn’t have been allowed to take them back to Uganda,” said Ahmad, who competes in the 50m rifle event.
“It’s our first Commonwealth Games and this was very disappointing. I thought our chance at taking part had disappeared.”
“We’ll have to wait and see just how competitive we can be with the borrowed equipment. It will be a learning experience for both of us,” he added.
“Everyone has been very kind to us here and the organisation has been superb,” added team manager Michael Mungoma.
Ahmad paid tribute to team-mate Mungoma, a 17-year-old schoolgirl who is taking time off from her studies in Kampala to compete at Bisley.
“She has remained extremely calm in the face of these difficulties. I suppose as a shooter you get used to it.”