UBF President Moses Muhangi

I am still not certain what the end is for the new Sports Federations Association but I hope the players are at the end of that stick. Anyone that fights for the player deserves all the credit because the guys who bleed for the badge are still on peanuts.

My opinion is that the new association is more or less a lobby group that feels that they are not getting what they deserve for all their contributions to sports in this country.

The boxing federation president Moses Muhangi has been very vocal about the cake sharing and rightly so most times. A sport like boxing has a big social influence given its roots and an investment in them would go a long way in nurturing new talent but also turning around lives of many youths.

My own cricket, a niche sport, is so expensive to run given its spread in the country and despite the small support from the government, the association has managed to keep the game alive.

While the share given to sports is still low, the small cake is not shared in an equitable manner. Football takes the lion’s share by virtual of being the most popular sport in the country. Some people feel that the parameter should be success and not popularity. For example, Netball has qualified for two World Cup tournaments in a row but doesn’t get the most out of the funds.

The cost of international competition weighs heavily on federations, most times missing out on qualifiers due to lack of resources. While this hurts administrators, the greatest losers are the players who miss out on exposure. The cost isn’t only about travel but the process of preparing players is also expensive therefore it is not enough to provide air tickets.

National Council of Sports chairman Donald Rukare Credit: Edgar Hamala

While the responsibility is on both sides, NCS as the body in charge needs to lead by example. Sports needs to grow from amateur to at least semi-professional but this journey has to include administrators. Money can’t just be given to briefcase associations but this structure needs to be developed by NCS to help associations.

As a father with many children, NCS has to play the lead in ensuring that they harmonize the resource allocation. It’s possible to keep everyone content without necessarily being happy, there are federations with little or no activities while others have a lot of programs.

Federations need to have the capacity to be accountable before they can break bread. FUFA in all honesty has the structure to account for resources which is lacking for some federations. NCS needs to identify those that need capacity building and invest in that gap. Many federations are run by volunteers which is not an ideal requirement for a professional set up.

In Good to Great, it’s advised that instead of just jumping onto a moving bus, it’s important that you first pack, evaluate all passengers on board remove the useless, get on board the required ones and then start moving. NCS needs to play this leading role as sports transforms from a PE activity to semi-professional sports.

Denis has represented Uganda in international cricket events including the World Cup. He is currently the captain of Wanderers Cricket Club.

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