For close to eight hours of the National Sports Forum ending the year 2022 last week, on 3rd January 2023 to be precise, the Minister of sports Honorable Peter Ogwang as Chairman of the Forum, kept telling off the participants, who were sports administrators and managers that they were all wrong.
But then, he quickly tones down saying that they are all friends, brothers and sister. Minister Ogwang visibly finds himself at a corner where he almost wants to peel his own solid skin off, talking about sports administration and management ills in the country. But then, again he acts a parent and forgives all and sundry, thanks to his understanding.
From his research, the Minister notes, he has found out that neither of the local sports administrators, and, or managers across all the fifty-one (51) associations or federations affiliated to the National Council of Sport (NCS), even in the sports Council itself, is clean to the letter. Apparently, the Minister becomes a self-whistleblower of the sub-sector he is appointed to patron himself.
Clearly, he brings it to everyone’s face and sounds a stern warning to each and every administrator to quit if; “you are not for development of sports especially if you are not adding value to the athlete,” the reason why they exist as managers and administrators. His ‘you are all wrong’ declaration of course would subject them all to such grueling investigations though he says; “But we don’t want to go that way, we are all friends, sisters and brothers too.”
Continued mismanagement though, according to Ogwang, would invite a good Criminal Investigator to clean and sweep the house of its dirty linen. Ogwang highlighted bad management skills, bad governance, poor managerial skills, lack of accountability and selfishness among administrators, as areas the federations and associations have greatly wronged, yet these are drivers for sports development in the country.
Also, the issue of wrangling has kept the sport stunted and to this, the Minister pronounces himself as thus; “I have also told the National Associations and Federations that wrangling has no room in the drive to sports development in my tenure. The leaders of the Federations should operate within the parameters of the law and provisions of their respective constitutions and statutes, and should avoid blaming their failures on government and NCS,” he asserted.
This, and other secrets he reserved for a proposed only federation/association meeting, Minister Ogwang brought to the fore, the Sports federation leaders who were in full attendance during the 12th edition of the sports forum meeting at Copper Chimney on Tuesday. Ogwang’s honest call was to all the leaders to urgently work towards professionalization of the national sports associations, yet welcoming only proposals that drive sports development in Uganda.
NCS Probe and the Sports Bill
The minister moved that the recent Parliamentary probe into the operations of the National Council of Sports is a normal procedure that happens in every sector of the economy. He said the NCS is adhering to the proceedings and everything has progressed well. He added the probe is normal, just like in the other sectors of the economy.
Moving forward, the Ministry of Education and Sports has introduced the Physical Activity and Sports Bill, 2022. Ogwang who presented and tabled the bill says it will be the remedy to all challenges of the sports sub sector. He promised the bill will be ready into law by end of January 2023. The bill provides for the existence of the National Council of Sports, membership of the council and its finances.
It provides for the organization of sports at national and international levels and establishes the National Recognition and Reward Scheme. It also outlines the eligibility for registration as a sports federation and their memberships. The object of that Bill is to regulate the operation and administration of national sports associations, federations and community sports clubs. The new bill repeals the 1964 National Council of Sports Act, and enable Uganda to harness available opportunities in local and international sports.
2022 a Golden Year
In Uganda, the year 2022 produced 167 gold medals, 130 silver medals and 146 bronze medals. Uganda featured prominently in all the major games and competitions. This was, according to the minister and NCS, a historical year in terms of achievements on the playing field alone.
Paris 2024 Games
National Council has brought into line 22 national sports federations for fast tracking coming to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in France. With the sports budget having suffered a 65% decrease, funding will therefore be prioritized to major games.
- Mr. Daniels N. Tatya is an affluent Sports Writer, Commentator and Editor. His over 15 years of covering almost major sporting events makes him a revered and an authority on investigative Sports journalism in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected] +256(0)758268315
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