President Museveni (in white shirt) poses with the Uganda Cranes players, technical staff and FUFA officials outside Entebbe State House Credit: State House

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, there was a celebration of the day the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) came into power. With it, came a number of gains listed as achievements in the last 34 years.

Ugandan sports is in a boom right now. The Uganda Cranes are finally qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations and the 2019 edition saw them move beyond the group stages. Cheptegei, Kiprotich and other athletes have been representing the Ugandan flag well in international showpieces.

There have even challenges in the NRM government’s regime but something that cannot be undercooked is the improving support for the sports sector. Kawowo Sports reflects on the gains Uganda has achieved so far.

The tranquil political atmosphere with peace and security prevailing across the country has provided the conducive working conditions.

Consistent Funding:

It is imperative to note that there has been consistent funding from the central government towards various special sports projects, tournaments, sports federations and associations.

President Museveni during the official flag off of team Uganda at Entebbe State House

The most notable funding has been allocated towards a couple of sports federations and associations through the government sports regulatory body, National Council of Sports (NCS).

At present, there are 51 sports federations / associations all of which have been facilitated to see through their respective projects and activities.

In the same vein, there has been money channeled towards development of sports facilities.

The most notable project is the 42,000 seater Mandela National Stadium, Namboole that was constructed in conjunction with assistance from the Chinese Government.

Namboole Stadium was officially opened in 1997 and has served the purpose to the brim hosting the different sporting disciplines as football, athletics, netball, woodball, handball, rugby, hockey, lawn tennis and indoor disciplines like table tennis, darts and the like.

Sporting Achievements

The epitome of sporting glory is boldly measured in the achievements registered.

Normally, this amplified by participation in international competitions say the World Cup, Common Wealth Games, Olympics, Continental and regional championships among others.

There are countless times when the treasured Black, Yellow and Red national flag has been viewed by the international community.

In the same vein, the Uganda National Anthem has been played on the international stage thus portraying the image and heritage of Uganda to the international platform at no cost.

The glory is often reflected through the increased trophies and escalating medal tallies recorded over the years.

Relatedly, the exceptional performance for Uganda as a country on the international platform has also improved and steadily boosted the tourism potentiality of the country best known to the world as the “Pearl of Africa”.

Infrastructural development

Like noted earlier, there has been deliberate undertaking by the Government to develop facilities.

Namboole Stadium takes the lead here with the current Nakivubo War memorial stadium construction undergoing.

President Yoweri Museveni builds at Buhinga Stadium Credit: PPU

Already, a number of regional stadia in the upcountry across the various regions of the county in the North, Western and Eastern regions have been developed.

The new Akii Bua stadium in Lira, Pece War memorial stadium, Gulu; Buhinga stadium (Fort Portal), Kakyeka Stadium (Mbarara) and Kakindu Stadium in Jinja are some of the facilities being taken care of by the central government.

Policy making and implementation

The good policies related to sports development set by the Government have no doubt provided the best conditions to thrive.

Implementation of the set policies has also uplifted the standards of sports development in the country.

By and large, since 1986, there is a lot to report concerning the general state of the sports development in Uganda.

This could be largely attributed to the good prevailing peace and stability of the country, the support by the central government through the great policies, funding and infrastructural development.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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