Congratulations Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) for the deserved win as the best federation of 2019 and National council of sports (NCS) has practically confirmed that a federation is not awarded best performer by looking at its number of fans, but the sports excellence in terms of medals or trophies won and that’s how UAF won. Am also happy that the issues I have been raising and advocating for have finally come to pass as NCS now boasts of a new funding policy guideline to be tabled to all federations in January. The policy will be looking at issues such as sports excellence, impact on youth and general population, governance among others.
Also another long awaited achievement was to officially acknowledge boxing back in the top three. In 2018 end of year dinner, boxing was only talked about as a Federation marred with court cases and wrangles. But in 2019, boxing is on same podium with Fufa and athletics with speaker after speaker hailing boxing on top of giving us (Uganda boxing federation) chance to make a speech. When I took office in 2018, boxing meant Nyakana Godfrey and some former leaders who thought that without them boxing could not exist. As of 2019, boxing has grown above any individual leader. Last year, boxing had no media coverage, now boxing enjoys daily media coverage on social media, electronic, radio and TV, print media and online. Boxing has equally progressed deeply in the area of structural administration because when I took leadership, boxing was run by three individuals but now we have a fully-fledged secretariat running the Federation.
In as far as sports excellence is concerned; we have already claimed 50 medals for the country at East Africa level, Africa and world stage better than our predecessors. When we took management of UBF, there was no partner or sponsor, now as we end the year with a number of partners like United Nations (UN) organisations such as UNaids, UNwomen, Infectious disease institute, Centre for diseases control, Aids information centre, Street finance limited, Gong records among others. When we took administration, boxing had so many ghost clubs but I can proudly say that all the ghost clubs were eliminated and we now have the actual boxing clubs. It should also not go without mentioning that in two years so far, we trained 25 new coaches in AIBA star 1 certification course, 19 referees and judges into AIBA star 1 referees course. So much has been accomplished but we still have much work to do in the coming years.
The task ahead for new minister of state for sports
The incoming minister Hon. Hamson Denis Obua is welcome but he must know that he has so much work to do in the following areas; He has to convince Ugandans that he is coming to serve all sports not football. He has a lot of streamlining to do at NCS and Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) so that the two bodies can work together strictly basing on the available guidelines. He has to invest a lot of time in understanding all the sports as affiliated to NCS so as to understand the other sports, their problems and ambitions. He has to touch base with all sports fraternity –to be a hands-on minister unlike the former Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi, who has been in the position for the last 14 years. He has to lead Uganda into identifying real priority sports not getting carried away by popularity of a particular sport. He has to lead the sports sector into sports commercialization and this will come with a review of the 1964 NCS Act that looks at sport as a recreation activity. He has to functionalize the quarterly meetings between the various federations and all management stakeholders so that all federations can defend their budgets in accordance to excellence or set targets.
Otherwise I wish him (Hon. Obua) all the best in his tenure and I believe he can cause the much desired progress.
MERRY X-MAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!