Ugandan Soft-Ground Wrestling: Embracing tradition and ensuring safety

Mukono, (UG):- The fusion of passion, tradition, and safety in Ugandan soft-ground wrestling took centre stage as American professional wrestlers Mansoor and Mason D. Madden, representing the esteemed MxM group, graced Kirangira Village in Mukono district with their presence.

The visit not only marked a significant milestone in the journey of local wrestlers towards professionalization but also sparked important discussions about the sport’s identity and safety.

Nestled in the vibrant community of Kirangira Village, Ugandan soft-ground wrestlers have long nurtured their dream of elevating their beloved game to a professional level.

The arrival of Mansoor and Mason D. Madden on Thursday was met with palpable excitement and anticipation, as these seasoned wrestlers delved into the unique experience of grappling on soft terrain.

As they immersed themselves in the exhilarating matches, Mansoor and Madden expressed their admiration for the sport’s authenticity and urged Ugandans to preserve its identity as a hallmark of Ugandan and African-style wrestling. Their words resonated deeply with the local wrestlers, reinforcing their pride in their heritage and the artistry of soft-ground wrestling.

However, amidst the celebration of cultural exchange and mutual respect for the sport, a sobering note was sounded by orthopaedic physicians Dr. Alex Kakoza and Kenneth Nyombi from Mulago Hospital.

In a previous story aired by NTV Uganda, these medical experts raised concerns about the inherent risks associated with soft-ground wrestling.

Dr. Kakoza and Dr. Nyombi highlighted the potential for injuries ranging from head to toe, emphasizing the critical need to address the risk of spinal cord damage.

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Despite these concerns, the physicians offered insightful mitigations to enhance safety without compromising the essence of the sport such as;

Protective Gear Advancements: Introduce specialized protective gear such as helmets, knee pads, and ankle braces to minimize the risk of head injuries and joint damage during matches.

Structured Training Programs. Implement structured training programs focusing on strength conditioning and flexibility to reduce the likelihood of injuries and improve overall performance.

Medical Oversight Protocols: Establish regular medical assessments and on-site medical support during wrestling events to swiftly address any injuries or medical emergencies.

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The proposed mitigations reflect a proactive approach towards ensuring the safety and well-being of soft-ground wrestlers, aligning with the broader goal of professionalizing the sport.

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