SPORTS BILL: National Council of Sports to enjoy immense powers

L-R: NCS chairman Ambrose Tashobya, general secretary Dr Bernard Patrick Ogwel and assistant general secretary David Katende appear before a parliamentary committee. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

NCS will also be mandated to register sports academies. But these have to be endorsed by the organisations running their respective disciplines. 

Nearly every stakeholder seeking to participate in the sports sub-sector in one way or the other could require endorsement from National Council of Sports (NCS) under the awaited new sports law.

The National Sports Bill that was passed by Parliament last Thursday awaits the President's signature. The public also awaits to see the final document that is still being put together by the Clerk of Parliament after last week's debate.

But in it, NCS are not only going to be tasked with developing, promoting and controlling amateur sports as was the case in the 1964 Act.

First, as highlighted on Monday, they will register, give sports organisations (associations and federations) their legal bearing and regulate their activities.

NCS will also be mandated to register sports academies. But these have to be endorsed by the organisations running their respective disciplines. 

In addition, any person seeking to operate a sports facility has to apply to NCS for a certificate of suitability. If it is a multi-discipline centre like the MTN Indoor Arena where you can play basketball, netball and badminton, the person must seek that certificate for each discipline.

This, however, Members of Parliament agreed should be done in consultation with the federations running the respective discplines as these would know better what it takes to meet the national and international standards.

Also the Minister of Sports will, in consultation with the Minister of Local Government, be in charge of declaring what public sports facilities are. And when this is done, management and maintenance of these facilities will be handed to NCS as is the case with the Lugogo sports arena that has offices, tennis courts, hockey pitch, cricket oval, volleyball courts and indoor arena among others.  

Furthermore, all public sports infrastructure and land for the same will be vested in NCS, which cannot sell, lease or mortgage them unless they are granted permission by the Minister. 

Hon. Asuman Basalirwa - MP for Bugiri Municipality - sought to have Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium, which is currently run under the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trust Act, Cap 57, brought under the management of NCS too but Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka pleaded that this section of the new law should apply to the facilities that come up after the law has been endorsed by the President to avoid legal disputes from manager of existing facilities like district land boards for district facilities.

NCS will also authorize schools' competitions right from primary to higher institutions of learning. This could mean that NCS will have a say in the national primary and post primary games, which has not been the case as they have been controlled directly by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Last but not least, NCS will also produce and annually update a list of arbitrators from which sports federations can choose arbitrators to settle any disputes.

Responsibilities of Council
-Incorporate and register national organisations
-Register academies
-Certify facilities
-Authorize schools competitions
-Produce and update a list of arbitrators
-Sports infrastructure to be vested in NCS