Kampala — Rugby side MTN Heathens won as the 2009 uganda telecom/USPA top Sports Personality of the Year prize in one of the biggest surprises in the 24-year history of the prestigious award.
What many had predicted as a contest between IBO world boxing champion Jackson Asiku and World Cross-Country silver medalist Moses Kipsiro, was easily won by Heathens at a colourful ceremony at Hotel Africana on Saturday.
"We are extremely happy and also overwhelmed," said a cheerful Heathens captain Brian Tabaruka after being crowned by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
Heathens were virtually unbeatable, winning five of the six competitions they entered in 2009. Peter Magona's side won the league, Uganda Cup, National 7s, Hima 10s and the Super Cup.
The Kyadondo side became the first winners of the annual award from the sport. The closest rugby had got was in 2007 when the national side narrowly missed out after winning the African title.
The crowning moment in the uganda telecom sponsored function was punctuated by a Mozey Radio and Weasle tune Potential that moved even the deputy speaker.
The well attended gala in Nile Hall also had music from other local artistes Desire Luzinda, Tonix, Iryn Namubiru and Rabadaba.
Kipsiro seemed not to believe that he had missed a third consecutive award.
Asiku's representatives were also surprised that the prize fighter missed the top award, but happy with the recognition.
Long serving Cranes skipper Jimmy Kirunda was also recognised. "It's very encouraging that bodies like USPA recognise us when we are still alive," he said after receiving the legendary award.