Monday, 1st May 2023 – KAMPALA, Uganda – The Uganda Lacrosse Association (ULA) has appointed Brian Mushana Kwesiga as the General Manager of the Uganda Lacrosse Men’s Senior National Team, the first Ugandan to hold this position.
The team is preparing to participate in the World Lacrosse Championship (WLC) scheduled to take place in San Diego, California, United States from June 20th to July 1st, 2023.
Kenneth Kasule, the Acting ULA President noted, “Brian has been instrumental in managing the relationships between ULA and our donor base, establishing a sustainable path towards the dream of Uganda lacrosse participating at the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California as well as staying as Number #1 Lacrosse program in Africa. Brian’s addition has been rejuvenating as he brings excellent grassroots mobilization skills, and we are already witnessing a rebirth of sorts within the Uganda lacrosse community.”
Kwesiga, an engineer based in the United States, is a former President and CEO of the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) where he more than tripled membership, presided over three consecutive surplus convention budgets, appointed a new Board of Trustees that oversaw the first and only financial audit in the Association’s 35-year history and spearheaded fundraising efforts that increased corporate sponsorship by more than 335 per cent – the most ever secured in the Association’s history to date.
Jeremy Phillips, the General Manager of the Uganda Lacrosse Men’s U21 National Team that took part in the U21 World Championship in Limerick, Ireland last year stated, “Brian is a perfect fit for the general manager role. He has shown incredible passion and invested a massive amount of time and energy to ensure that Uganda is represented at the WLC”.
He added: “Uganda has been the pioneer of Lacrosse in Africa, but this campaign is different. This is a Ugandan-led campaign with the head coach, general manager, and many of the donors being from Uganda.”
This is Uganda’s third consecutive appearance at the WLC, a quadrennial event that was cancelled in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uganda holds the distinction of being the only African lacrosse team to have participated in the championship.
In previous appearances, Denver 2014, and Israel 2018, Uganda qualified automatically, but this time they secured their official qualification by defeating Kenya with a score of 9-8 in November 2022.
The team consists of U21 players who represented Uganda in Ireland, some players from 2014 and 2018, as well as a few Americans with Ugandan roots.
Phillips observed, “This is the most experienced team Uganda has fielded and should be competitive and, as always, really fun to watch. It is a huge step towards lacrosse taking root in Uganda and becoming sustainable.”
Kwesiga said, “I am honoured and humbled to have been selected for this opportunity to be part of the storied Uganda Lacrosse program. I am eager to learn from and work with the Uganda Lacrosse community as we prepare to showcase the exciting game played by Uganda lacrosse on the global stage in San Diego this summer. Go Cranes!”
Who is Kwesiga?
Born in Rukungiri, Uganda, Kwesiga has resided in the United States for over 20 years.
He moved to the U.S. at the age of 15 after completing his O’level education at Kibuli Secondary School, renowned for its academic and sports achievements.
While new to lacrosse, Kwesiga is not new to sports administration.
In 2009, while studying at Southern Methodist University (SMU), he founded and managed the Dallas Cranes, F.C., a Ugandan soccer team that participated in the African Unity Cup Soccer Tournament, representing Uganda alongside other African countries, earning him the 2009 Outstanding Student Leadership Award from the DFW International Community Alliance.
Coach Patrick Oriana, the first Ugandan appointed to the head coaching position in August 2022 and Captain of the Uganda Lacrosse Men’s Senior National Team in 2014, commended Brian, saying, “For someone who had no idea what the sport of Lacrosse was, it takes a lot of faith, patriotism, deep courage and sacrifice to embrace such a challenge and do what Brian Kwesiga has done for the team and that is truly admirable, humbling and inspiring.”
The team, granted U.S. visas on April 14th, is seeking sponsors and supporters to help with the costs of travel, accommodation, and meal expenses. Kwesiga has been leading a fundraising campaign that has raised about $30,000 ($15,000 online) out of a budget of $100,000.
He invites passionate individuals and organizations to contribute via https://www.paypal.com/donate?campaign_id=EE85ENTZDQ8VQ or by emailing email@example.com
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