USF’s growth through their financial numbers

Growth. USF has seen over 370 percent growth in their financials over the past 18 years. PHOTO/MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

What you need to know:

The growth of the federation over the years can be seen in their budget. 

At the Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 16, the executive announced – for the second year running – that they expect to spend over Shs1bn to run the sport.

That was also the predicted expenditure for 2023, but USF treasurer Florence Nakakawa reported that they had spent just over Shs750m after collecting Shs820m.

Not much had been spent on the National Championships, Africa Aquatics Zone III, Zone IV and World Championships as ‘feared’. This is because swimmers have to be willing and financially capable to attend these events. When they are not, the incomes to the federation are lower than budgeted.

The growth of the federation over the years can be seen in their budget. Ten years ago at the start of 2014, USF reported through the treasurer then Anne Mudanye that they had spent Shs36m for the year ended December 2013.

Interestingly, when current president Moses Mwase was treasurer between 2005 and 2008, the federation budget oscillated between Shs2.2m to Shs3.9m. So the growth over the past 18 years is at 372 percent. The same can be said of the numbers in the sport, where clubs have grown from two to over 20 and one can easily find over 600 athletes at a USF competition.

Some of the money in 2013 came from subscriptions from 15 schools and two clubs (which had grown from Shs30,000 to Shs50,000), plus subscription fees of the 21 executive and committee members (which was introduced in 2007 at Shs50,000).

Parents shoulder burden

Of course, USF has been running a cash budget since time immemorial – meaning that the fees paid by swimmers to compete at galas and the gate collections are some of the major cash inflows.

In 2023, the affiliation fees grew to Shs25.6m as fees per club or school grew to Shs250,000 while coaches and swimmers have also been incorporated over the years while the national competitions (Club Championships, three league meets, Independence, Primary and Secondary Schools) attracted Shs124m. Usually, what is collected at such galas is spent on hiring pools, trophies and medals, meals and clearing transport allowances of deck officials among other things.

The swimmers, through their parents as is the case with most individual sports, usually pay for their continental and regional competitions through the federation – so it is incumbent upon the latter to account for the money. But World Aquatics, and sometimes Africa Aquatics, contributions towards tickets for world and continental championships have helped grow USF’s incomes – but again this is spent as soon as it is received.

Sometimes, World Aquatics, the budget for tickets is lower than the market price and the selected swimmers usually have to fork out the balance.

The current USF executive has also been keen on pushing for government support in this regard and managed to get; just over Shs251m from National Council of Sports (NCS) last year, Shs72m in cash and Shs12m in air tickets in 2022, plus Shs193m in 2021.

This has allowed USF to ease the burden on parents, especially on continental activities for the national team. World Aquatics would for example require that part of the development funds ($25,000 per year or about Shs95m) it sends to federations is used to sponsor athletes for a development championship like the Africa Aquatics Junior Championships and the other used to maintain the office.

If you add the support for World Championships to the development funds, then in 2021, World Aquatics support to USF was about Shs124m while in 2022 it was Shs277m. Last year it was about Shs183m.

Added pressure

USF now has even further pressure to grow. The New Sports Act 2023, demands that to be recognized as a federation, the body must cover at least 75 percent of the country.

Currently, competitive swimming is mostly in central Uganda; Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, parts of Jinja and has slightly spread out to Mbale and Mbarara. As of May 2023, Uganda had 146 and USF is being asked to be operating in at least 109.5 of them.

Such demands have forced the federation to plan for a chief executive officer (CEO) and accountant to run their day-to-day affairs going forward. The USF members have to agree to it at an extra-ordinary general assembly as it is evident that the current set-up of the executive, purely made of volunteers, cannot oversee such growth. 


2005 – Shs2.2m

2013 – Shs40m

2023 – Shs820m

Income Avenues: Parents (paying for national team events), Subscriptions (coaches, schools, swimmers, executive members), competitions collections, NCS, World Aquatics, Africa Aquatics, Sponsors