UNITED AS ONE: FUM-MAU union at Kati Kati Restaurant, Kampala (Credit: John Batanudde)

Time check; 10:48 am.

It is a fully packed house at Kati-Kati Restaurant’s main hall, just a stone throw from the National Council of Sports (NCS) headquarters in Lugogo, Kampala city.

In the meeting hall, there are officials from the Federation of Motorsport Uganda (FMU), riders of all age categories, officials, sports journalists, and other motorsport fanatics.

The main agenda on this eventful morning is the announcement of a reunion between FMU and a break-away faction of Motocross riders, under the umbrella body, MAU led by Barack Oland.

FMU and MAU officials during a joint media briefing at Kati Kati Restaurant, Kampala (Credit: John Batanudde)

This warm morning is manifested by the ear-to-ear smiles from speaker after speaker, hand-shakes, and hugs.

Motorsport living legend Arthur Blick Senior, confined in his wheelchair witnessed this historic feat.

“I am happy for the reconciliation. Motorsport started a long time ago and continues to be vibrant,” Blick senior remarked.

Arthur Blick Sr and son Arthur Blick Junior (Credit: John Batanudde)

This is indeed a day to remember and celebrate as the hollow gap that existed between the motorsport body and the break-away faction has been mended, bridged with the rift buried off, at least for now.

“This gathering is momentous for all of us,” this was the opening phrase from Dipu Ruparelia, the president of FMU in his prepared speech.

“There is no need for chest-thumping. We have identified common interests; we want to develop motorsport. We want to be African champions,” Dipu noted in reference to the forthcoming Motocross of African nations championship (FIM-MXOAN) stated for 19-21st August at Garuga.

Officials of FMU and MAU in a joint meeting at Kati Kati Restaurant in Kampala city

“It has been the collective effort of FMU and the stakeholders to have this achieved. I wish to thank the motorsport parents and everyone involved in the negotiations,” Dipu added.

Riders as young as six years old graced this meeting, flanked by the parents and their backroom crew members.

Alistair Blick, team captain for Uganda delivering his speech on behalf of the riders (Credit: John Batanudde)

This is special for us as riders. We want a healthy environment to do what we execute best – ride and fly the bikes. This is indeed an important day for the motocross family.

Alistair Blick, team captain Uganda

There are no official documents inked to signify the occasion.

To Frank Kaheesi Sserugo, there is no need to worry about the absence of the documentation.

“By the time of the break-off, there was nothing signed. Therefore, there is no need to sign to notify a reunion,” Sserugo, the head of media commission at FMU clarifies.

Amos Wekesa speaking on behalf of the parents. Holding the microphones is Frank Kaheesi Sserugo (Credit: John Batanudde)
Amos Wekesa talking on Behalf of the parents who attended the press briefing (Credit: John Batanudde)
Barack Olando and Dipu Ruparelia share a light moment

The meeting-cum-press conference was also graced by the National Council of Sports (NCS) representative, Ivan Niwamanya.

“It is always great to clean the house from inside than outside. National Council of Sports will now support you to the fullest. The unity was long overdue,” Niwamanya stated.

The latest development comes at an opportune time when Uganda is set to host the 2022 Motocross of African nations championship (19th – 21st August) at the beautiful Victoria Race Track in Busiika.

Barak Oland and Dipu hand-shook as a sign of harmony and peace
Motorsport family
Arthur Blick Junior and James Akena brainstorm during the media briefing at Kati Kati Restaurant (Credit: John Batanudde)

“The discussions were held for a long time and many more will be held to further iron out other issues,” promised Raymond Kibira, DVP Moto rally.

The collective loud hand claps and broad smiles particularly from the innocent young riders signed off the occasion, the start of a new dawn at the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU).

UNITED AS ONE: FUM-MAU union at Kati Kati Restaurant, Kampala (Credit: John Batanudde)
Maxime Van Pee (middle)
Barak and Dipu shake hands with a smile

Reconciliation proved to be a form of revenge (for the time being)

Sport was eventually the winner.

Watch the space.

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

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