Blick backs Rukare for UOC succession

What you need to know:

  • UOC now operates on a water-tight constitution framed to bring in leaders who have at least four years’ experience working in Olympic federations and at least a diploma in sports management.

William Blick is backing Dr Donald Rukare to take over the torch at Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) when his tenure comes ends on February 27.

Blick believes that, in Rukare, the current general secretary, UOC would be assured of “continuity” should he win the assembly vote.

“We found a dormant UOC and we have worked hard to make it a reference point for the rest of Africa,” Blick told Daily Monitor ahead of tomorrow’s news briefing to announce the verified candidates from the nomination process that started February 5 and ended Saturday.

UOC now operates on a water-tight constitution framed to bring in leaders who have at least four years’ experience working in Olympic federations and at least a diploma in sports management.

“I have worked with Donald on this for eight years and I believe he is passionate and qualified to build on from where we are,” Blick said.

“If you’re going to deal with 30-plus other National Olympic Committees in Africa and more in the world, having completely new faces means starting afresh and that takes you back a few years.”

Speaking of starting from scratch, that is the picture Blick paints of the UOC when he took over after the ouster of Rogers Ddungu in 2012.

“We found a fragmented federation that was not producing any results on and off the pitch; we had so many fights within federations. We were participating in a few activities so we were also struggling to win medals,” he said.

Blick and co. elected to spread the gospel of Olympism as a way to get the country vibrant. And from it, they have managed to grow their community to 30 member federations each with one vote, create a partnership with the French embassy, award scholarships to athletes and technical personnel, among others.

“We’ve athletes like Joshua Cheptegei, Halimah Nakaayi, Ronald Musagala and Winnie Nanyondo on scholarships, where we send $1,000 (Shs3.5m) to their management camp per month. In boxing, we’re dealing directly with Shadir Musa,” Blick said.

“Many of our members have been appointed to serve on continental and international sports bodies. In fact, our NOC is used as a case study for the whole of Africa,” added Blick, who has since July last year been serving as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member.

However, he admitted his tenure could have been better had he not superintend over a fractured relationship with government for a better part of his term.

“I agree we did not have a good relationship with NCS and we never got on well with former Sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi, so we could not consolidate certain things,” he said.

“We hoped we would also get our own home, where we could house some of our members, but that bad blood with government could not help us consolidate some of the partnerships we built.”

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