Wednesday, August 22, 2012


By James Bakama Lack of incentives and training facilities have always topped the list of reasons for Uganda’s declining sports fortunes. But all this could soon be history following President Yoweri Museveni’s promise to increase support towards the sports sector. Thrilled by Stephen Kiprotich’s surprise victory in the Olympic marathon, Museveni last week pledged various incentives that could go a long way in boosting sports. Museveni directed that willing sportsmen get job placements in the forces. He also wants sportsmen who excel at Africa level and beyond, to get a sh1m monthly stipend. Museveni, who rewarded Kiprotich with sh200m, also directed that construction of a high altitude training center in Teryet, Kapchorwa should be completed within a year. The president announced the incentives while hosting Uganda’s Olympic team at State House, Entebbe last week. He also called for regular competitions where talent can not only consistently be tapped, but also nurtured. He explained that some of these incentives should have already been effected into policy had it not been for a communication hitch between State House and other stakeholders. The president has starting this financial year also offered athletics and football sh700m annually. UAF will also get a bus to help it transport athletes to competition venues. Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) got a similar offer from Museveni. What associations think? The developments have excited UAF. “We thank the president. These incentives will inevitably boost standards,” noted federation head Domenic Otuchet. Museveni’s order that the training center be fast-tracked followed an appeal from Otuchet. Equally anxious is FUFA. “We are very happy that the president is finally responding to our long time cry,” said federation spokesman Rogers Mulindwa. FUFA however noted that much as the sh350m annual offer is not enough, it is a good beginning. But FUFA is also requesting that national coach Bobby Williamson is also put on government payroll

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