KAMPALA – The sports industry in Uganda has grown with several international and national wins across the various sports disciplines i.e Cricket, Football, Rugby, Girls Football, Hockey, Basketball, Netball, swimming, motorsport among others. With the wins, comes the usual challenges that have crippled the sports industry including lack of sports training grounds, finances for travel, racing tracks, uniforms among others.
More-over whenever the sports personalities excel on the international scene and bring more Gold, Silver or Bronze medals, they are applauded by Government of Uganda, individuals and the general public with dinners, cash, gifts, media bloom, oblivious of the processes and challenges the sportsmen and women are going through before they bring home these wins.
Furtherstill, the allocated sports grounds are often hired out for public events while the designated sports get second priority to use the facilities such as Lugogo KCC Sports ground, Nakivubo stadium, Namboole stadium, Hockey ground, Lugogo Cricket Oval and Hockey ground.
To this end, #UGSportsmustwin is a new public petition that seeks to make sports great again in Uganda. By signing this petition, you are adding your voice to the betterment of sports in Uganda, said Paul Kaheru, a representative #UGSportsmustwin.
Minister of State for Sports Hon. Peter Gwanga who recently assumed the role has recently publically pledged to prioritize unconditional sports facilities’ access by sports personalities first.
There are several media reports capturing a recent sports fraternity outcry when the National Council of Sports (NCS) notified Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) that Lugogo oval won’t be available to them from July to December 2022. It was reported that it was booked for entertainment concerts. Other sports disciplines such as Hockey have also complained about the same.
The overall objectives of the #UGSportsmustwin petition include lobbying Government of Uganda to prioritize growth of sports in Uganda; authorization of sports federations in Uganda to be given first priority to use grounds allocated to the them; Government of Uganda to give priority to training grounds of sports people before public events and Government to promptly honour pledges to sports people in real time.
The Petitioners target to raise at least 100, 000 signatures to support to campaign, have at least 100 sports champions /personalities endorse the campaign both locally and internationally, host a round-table discussion with key sports personalities in Uganda and a round table discussion hosted by the Government of Uganda with key sports personalities
Sports in Uganda if given priority will pave way for greater opportunities for individuals especially the youth, promotes physical fitness and health living, creates a source of livelihood, and enhances development.