A sports commentator from the Cotswolds has enjoyed a tour of Uganda after going viral in the Africa nation.

Rob Walker, 47, is known for his coverage of snooker tournaments as well as the Olympics, Paralympics and Invictus games.

But in 2021 he went viral in Uganda after complimenting the country during the Tokyo Olympics.

The Ugandan Tourism Board (UTB) responded by arranging for Mr Walker to go on an all-expenses paid trip to their country in February this year.

Walker spent 11 days in the east African country and told the PA news agency it was “the most incredible, surprising, uplifting, humbling experience I’ve ever had in nearly 25 years of travelling the world covering sport”.

He added: “I’ve never been treated like that. I’ve never been made to feel so welcome, so special. I mean, I basically just went on an 11-day whirlwind tour of the country. It was insane.”

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Cotswold Journal: Rob Walker takes a selfie in front of Murchison Falls in UgandaRob Walker takes a selfie in front of Murchison Falls in Uganda (Image: PA Media)

It was during the coverage of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in Tokyo that Walker’s bond with Uganda began.

As Peruth Chemutai collected her gold medal, he said: “By the way, if you’ve never been to Uganda, let me tell you, it’s one of the most beautiful, friendly countries you could ever wish to visit.

“This moment will have a significance in their country that transcends the boundaries of sport.”

After this, he received “thousands and thousands” of messages.

He also commentated on Ugandan runner Joshua Cheptegei winning the 10,000 metres at the World Championships and Jacob Kiplimo winning two medals at the Commonwealth Games – both events being broadcast live in Uganda.

During the trip, Gloucestershire-based Walker spoke to locals near Murchison Falls, met the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and travelled on his helicopter to various parts of the country, as well as meeting a mountain gorilla.

“It was like being in a film and I was going: ‘Is this actually happening to me?’” he said.

“I’ve ended up with a little bit of a platform and an opportunity to kind of dispel some out-of-date myths about Uganda specifically, I’ve literally never been anywhere friendlier than Uganda.

“There’s still so much rubbish that you read and see about the way the African continent is portrayed internationally in the media, it’s ludicrous, so it’s very important for people who go there regularly – like me – to shout about it.

“I believe the whole reason that I went viral in Uganda and the reason that they seem to have sort of taken me to their heart, is the fact that my passion for their country was pure.”

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Cotswold Journal: Rob Walker (centre) with Olympic medallists Jacob Kiplimo (left) and Joshua CheptegeiRob Walker (centre) with Olympic medallists Jacob Kiplimo (left) and Joshua Cheptegei (Image: PA Media)

Mr Walker still works with the country, and is now part of a competition panel in Uganda to help find new local TV commentators.

The competition will be televised at the end of 2023 on Ugandan TV – with the winners awarded a 12-month scholarship and selected to be commentators at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.