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Teddy Nakimuli: Uganda's First Female to Punch at Commonwealth

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Born on March 3rd, 2002 to George Kamya and Ritah Nakatongole in Entebbe Wamala, Nakimuli did not see boxing as a priority until 2018 when she started training with the University of Pain boxing club in Ndeeba, Kampala.
Nakimuli in blue corner

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Teddy Nakimuli is set to make history as the first Ugandan woman to punch at the Commonwealth Games when she takes to the ring later this month in Birmingham.  The flyweight boxer secured her slot to represent Uganda in the commonwealth games courtesy of the Uganda Boxing Federation- UBF Champions league. 

Although the commonwealth games alias British Empire games date back to 1930, female boxing was only introduced at the Glasgow 2014 games. The women who took part in the games then competed for three gold medals in the flyweight (50 kilograms), lightweight (60 kg), and middleweight (75 kg). However, still, Uganda did not send a female boxer in the previous editions. 

Moses Muhangi, Uganda Boxing Federation-UBF President told URN in an interview that Uganda was allocated six slots for this year’s commonwealth games and the onus was on the UBF to select the better pugilists. UBF consequently selected five men and one woman. 

Nakimuli, 20, was selected after her victory against Jalia Nali in week 13 of the Champions League at the MTN Arena-Lugogo.  The victory would see Nakimuli writing history as the first woman to represent Uganda at the commonwealth games, a dream she calls come true.      

But who is Teddy Nakimuli?  

Born on March 3rd, 2002 to George Kamya and Ritah Nakatongole in Entebbe Wamala, Nakimuli did not see boxing as a priority until 2018 when she started training with the University of Pain boxing club in Ndeeba, Kampala.  

She says that the decision to enroll at the University of Pain boxing club was triggered by her uncle who pushed her to start a career in boxing. According to Nakimuli, a renowned boxer, Sula Segawa later advised her uncle to enroll her at the Ndeeba-based club.  

//Cue in: “taata wange oyo …

Cue out: paka nakati,”//  

A few months later, Nakimuli made her amateur debut in the 2019 National Open where she won a gold medal and emerged the overall best female youth boxer.  Unfortunately, she later fell to Catherine Nanziri in the playoffs to select the team that was going to take part in the African Olympic Trials in Dakar, Senegal. Nanziri later progressed to become Uganda’s first female boxer at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.  

“It didn’t demotivate me, because I had a goal to push for and I had wanted to make my dream come true, and the people who were around me were very helpful to motivate me,” Nakimuli briefly told URN about her loss to Olympian Nanziri.  

Asked whether she feels the pressure on her back, being the first-ever woman to represent the country at the games, the pugilist said she has no pressure, adding that her only wish is to have a great performance on her debut on the international scene.

//Cue in: nze nga omulwanyi …

Cue out: … mpaka zetutunulide,”//  

Eddie Kawere, the head coach of the University of pain gym applauded Nakimuli’s determination and predicted victory for the flyweight boxer because of her potential.  “She had love for boxing, at our club we have many coaches, and they kept encouraging her when she enrolled. We kept encouraging her from the 2019 National opens until now,” Kawere said. 

Adding that "She is young and determined, she can win a medal because she is in the good age bracket. A commonwealth medal is easy to win compared to that of Olympics, she has what it takes to win it”.

Nakimuli is already in a residential training camp at Forest Park in Buloba. Kawere says that his only wish is to get a few days with her before she flies out for the final games. Ahead of the games in Birmingham, the 20-year-old has already engaged in the Mountain Kilimanjaro Boxing championship where she won a silver medal.

She will be hoping to have a good performance on her debut. Should she win any medal, Nakimuli will be the first Uganda woman to bring a boxing medal from the commonwealth games.

At Glance; 

Name: Teddy Nakimuli 

Parents: Gorge Kamya and Ritah Nakatongole

Date of Birth: March 3rd, 2002

Weight category: Flyweight 

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