Tuesday January 28 2014

Otucet to focus on coaching but discontent won’t go away

By Sande Bashaija


For long, coaching has been one ignored aspect of Uganda’s athletics. It’s never taken serious no matter how important it is.

Very often, Uganda athletes prepare for international competitions without supervision of coaches. With no permanently employed national coaches, at times top athletes find themselves digging into their coffers to pay tacticians to aid their training. Commonwealth double champion Moses Kipsiro and marathon superstar Stephen Kiprotich are classic examples of Ugandan athletes that have taken this route.

But such stories could be something of the past if Uganda Athletics President (UAF) president Dominic Otucet lives to his promises. “Athletes can’t excel on their own without coaches,” Otucet said after getting elected unopposed for another four-year term at Lugogo on Saturday. “We want to address the area of coaching. It’s important,” he added, calling on his executive members, all of them re-elected unopposed, to start work immediately.

While Otucet and team easily sailed through at the assembly supervised by National Council of Sports (NCS) assistant general secretary Nicholas Muramagi, they have a tough battle on their hands to silence the voices of discontent within the fraternity.

Led by former world junior champion Julius Achon, the dissenting group has vowed to fight on until sanity prevails in the administration of athletics. “They can entrench themselves in power but we shall not let them kill the sport,” Achon who was denied access to the assembly venue.

Besides Achon, several other delegates, including those from Kapchorwa, Bukwo, Tororo, were chased away by security mounted at the entrance of Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) offices where the assembly took place.