Namboole gesture welcome but...

Thursday June 21 2012

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Happy day people, or rather Happy Science if you are a science student/follower. But despair not if you are an arts student. This has nothing to do with chemicals or atomic energy.This Happy Science, greeting-like as it may sound, is a Japanese religion founded on October 6, 1986 by Ryuho Okawa.

Their basic teachings are “Exploration of the Right Mind” and the “Principles of Happiness”, with Uganda their latest catch among several others across the world. And the organisation is not short of dollars, call them Japanese Yens or Ugandan shillings. No wonder the Namboole management could not turn down the revenues when they flashed the millions for stadium hire at them.

Apparently, Happy Science will tomorrow explore the right of mind and teach principles of happiness to some Ugandans – at some fee dependent on where you will sit - on the same turf Cranes played Senegal and Congo Brazzaville recently. This at the expense of the National Athletics Championships the same day where some runners will hope to qualify for the London Olympics due next month.

The local athletics body had already booked the facility, whose main purpose is to host and aid sports development in the country. Employing their business nous, Namboole disregarded the National Championships to stack in the Japanese millions.

Although Happy Science were reportedly ‘forced’ to change their dates because of Cranes engagements, Namboole management knew their action - which was purely business - would attract public ire. Namboole will be solely blamed that a national sporting activity is being relegated to Makerere mainground.

The Makerere track is disappointingly bumpy and even the best athletes will require divine intervention to post good times. Yet the National Championship is the last chance for local-based athletes to qualify for the London Olympics that kick off July 27. Credit to the stadium management though for their humility.

That they have in a form of compensation offered to take care of five athletes’ air tickets of the 12 traveling to the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Benin next week is a welcome gesture. Not so many other companies would have made it if trapped in such a situation. But why give tickets to athletes who were already on the list to be catered for by the federation? Increasing the team to 17 would have made some sense... and perhaps added to the Happy Science.