Obua okays new sports body’s push for funding

Tuesday January 05 2021
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Green light. Minister Obua is okay with the Muhangi-led association of sports federations as long it works within the ambit of NCS.

By ELVIS SENONO


The fifth National Sports Forum and the second to be hosted this financial year was concluded at Lugogo last week.
The forum is a quarterly meeting meant to help the Sports ministry liaise with line administrators to draw strategies for developing the sector.
The forum is organised by National Council of Sports (NCS) whose chairman Dr Don Rukare and General Secretary Bernad Ogwel highlighted a number positives from the previous quarter.

These included the government’s role as Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo recorded successes with the former setting the world 5000m and 10000m records, while the latter clinched the World Half Marathon Championship.
The government also supported the national basketball team, the Silverbacks, during the AfroBakset qualifiers in Egypt as well as the Cranes Afcon qualifier double header against South Sudan over the past three months.

Queries about the progress of the sports funding policy, however, soon popped up once federations were given an opportunity to speak with table tennis boss Robert Jjagwe raising the issue.
 Jjagwe was part of a group of federation heads that recently formed the Association of Sports Federations and Associations of Uganda that they say will enhance lobbying in the sector.
“We are waiting for feedback/guidance from the auditor general through solicitor general,” noted the Minister of State  for Sport, Hamson Obua.
He okayed the newly-formed body for as long as it amplified the NCS’s efforts.
“To me, the association emanates from the fact that these federations belong to the National Council of Sport. And the freedom of association is definitely guaranteed,” the minister said.

“We can even choose to associate. But as we make a choice to associate we know where we belong. Because there is also a right to belong.”
Members of the new association that is headed by boxing federation president Moses Muhangi have been critical of the sports funding process.
However, Obua stressed that as long as the association is meant to galvanise support “in order for you to raise where you belong, in this case all these associations belong to NCS, to me it is okay.”

He added: “As long as in the association they will discuss [issues] then use the legally recognised structure like the forum for them to put forward what they have discussed in their association then it is okay because the statutory body is the forum. After that there is a chain of command.” 
Uganda Athletics Federation assistant general secretary Apollo Musherure, meanwhile, decried the unavailability of Mandela National Stadium with Obua expressing uncertainty about when sports activities will resume at the stadium. 
essenono@ug.nationmedia.com

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