Uganda has great potential in sports

Team Uganda for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 has made the country proud with its the stunning performance that saw Uganda bag six medals, two of which being the double gold medals for the 5,000 and 10,000 champion JoshuaCheptegei. Overall, Uganda was ranked 15th immediately after Kenya. What a performance of the East Africans!
Six years ago, another Ugandan, Mr Stephen Kiprotich, stunned the world by claiming the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. On his return, government undertook to build a High Altitude Training Facility in recognition of Stephen Kiprotich. To date, there is no mention of construction progress for this facility, which is a national scandal and only exposes how indifferent Ugandans can be on real issues.
Typical of Ugandan sportsmen and women, our gallant heroes toiled with minimal facilities to be able to stun the world with some of the finest performances. This is true, especially for track events, boxing and netball.
In a country where 78 per cent of the population is under 30 years, it makes a lot of sense to invest optimally in the development of sports given that this is becoming an industry that can actually gainfully employ thousands of the youth.
In Uganda, there is no evidence of commitment to this imperative and we continue to bask in glory when medals are won without reflecting on the number of medals that are lost due to inaction.
Clearly, Uganda has a special niche in athletics, boxing, soccer and lately netball. To realise our full potential, we need to see investments by government in sports-supporting infrastructure so as to discover new Aki Buas from Karamoja, Arua, Gulu, Rwenzori and Kabale. They are plenty yet they die undiscovered!
Noting that the required investment is huge, sports planners need to leverage the blossoming private sector to push for tax breaks for companies that demonstrate commitment to sports development.
A robust criteria can be developed and this can fast-track sports infrastructure development powered by the private sector. With committed institutional financing of sports activities, Uganda has every potential to rule the world. In this way, other sectors such as tourism will also be promoted by default.
For government, there is just no better tribute that you can give to Ugandans than completing the Stephen Kiprotich High Altitude Sports Facility in Sebei, eastern Uganda. Can we also have new offers of such facilities in other parts of the country and commitment to have them operational in two years?
This facility, once completed, has the potential to unlock the huge potential that currently remains idle. The difference between Kenya and Uganda is defined by facilities.
Well be back Team Uganda, you made us proud!
Richard Mubiru