USF push for standardized competition summons

Seeking solutions. USF executive committee members at their AGM. PHOTO/MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA 

What you need to know:

Usually, the National Championships which are a qualification event are affected by the dates of the World Championships.

Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) and coaches in the sport are reading from the same page over a standard event list for their competitions.

Of recent the communication gap has not helped either entity. USF have been sending summons for galas a bit later than usual.

While the clubs and schools have done well to commit to participate, scratches and no shows from swimmers have been rampant. 

Since each swimmer has to pay for their races, the absentees leave a financial effect on how each gala is run and in the end, USF struggles to have competitions that are self-sustaining.

"We know the Independence Gala happens the weekend before Independence Day, why can't we have specified dates for the National Club Championships for example," Sailfish coach Joseph Kabogoza asked the USF executive at last Saturday's General Assembly chaired by their president Moses Mwase.

Usually, the National Championships which are a qualification event are affected by the dates of the World Championships.

Other competitions like the primary and secondary schools championships are always expected in March while the National Sprints usually come in November.

"We actually want to standardize all summons at least for a period of four years. Such that everyone knows what events they have to focus on.

We have done the same for the new competition, the National League. All summons for the three rounds we have this year have already been sent out," USF vice president (technical) Tonnie Kasujja said at the meeting held at the Uganda Olympic Committee offices in Lugogo.

Registering schools

Another contentious issue is that USF has no control over schools by law. They are therefore proposing to have all schools that associate with them to register as clubs whose activities they can regulate.

"One day the school is with us, tomorrow they are not and you cannot really follow up," Mwase said as their financial report reflected 15 clubs paid up the Shs250,000 subscription fees for 2022.

Just 10 schools paid up the amount last year while another 20 that have taken part in USF competitions over the years could not be traced.

The challenge, if USF get this registration their way, is that the swimmers on scholarships might be forced to swim for their school clubs over their current clubs, which offer better coaching. On the flip side, it means they USF are tasked with improving coaching in schools too.

USF Competitions
-Primary Schools Championship 
-Secondary Schools Championship 
-Club Championship
-Independence Gala
-National Sprints
-National League