By Prisca Oroma
MTN Uganda in partnership with Ker Alur Kingdom has launched inter county bicycle racing competitions.
The race is a build-up to the 12th coronation anniversary of the King of Ker Alur, His Royal Majesty Ubimu Phillip Rauni III, in October.
The sports activity is part of other social-cultural activities supported by MTN, as part of the partnership agreement signed with the Ker Alur Kingdom in 2019.
The bicycle race event is the first ever MTN-sponsored activity in Ker Alur Kingdom. It will be implemented under the theme “Ending Child Pregnancies and Marriage in Alur land”.
Phillip Odoi, MTN Uganda’s Northern and West Nile Region Business Manager affirmed that the Ker Alur MTN bicycle races, reinforce the objective of the partnership between MTN Uganda the kingdom.
“As MTN, we are strongly grounded in the belief that we are good together. We only succeed if the communities in which we operate succeed. We are therefore happy to join hands with the Kingdom of Ker Alur to champion the fight against teenage pregnancies and early marriages through awareness amplified by the Ker Alur MTN bicycle races,” said Odoi.
Odio said that a series of events has been lined up including a football tournament and also giving back to the community in kind including refurbishing and kitting the health facilities which have already been identified through the arm of local government.
He said that this time they have big awards in both cash and kind and there is inclusion of both men and women.
Vincent Ochaya, the executive director of Ker Alur Kingdom thanked MTN Uganda for supporting this social activity and said that Alur kingdom has been hit hard by early, child and teenage pregnancies which has led to high school drop out in the kingdom and this bicycle is to tell the community that it is time to stop and support the girls to remain in school.
“These bicycle races will offer us a platform to sensitize the people in Alur land about the dangers of teenage pregnancies and marriage as we strive to address the issue of poor maternal health in the kingdom,” Ochaya said
Ochaya said that the bicycle race is symbolic since sports unite people and all the cultural interventions are geared towards stopping and addressing key cultural norms that are destroying the youths. He also urged the youths to embrace culture and noted that they are now using sports to convince the youths to appreciate culture.
Registration for the MTN Uganda sponsored bicycle races will start on August 7 and end on August 15.
The preliminary races to select the riders that will represent the Alur sub-regions of Jonam, Padyere & Okoro, will be held between 18th and 22nd August in each of the regions.
The grand finale shall be held on 27th August 2022 in Nebbi Municipality. Registration for the races is free. All registration will be conducted in the chiefdoms within the sub-regions.