Didas Masiko, an upcoming Ugandan rally driver has urged government to invest more in motorsport as one of the ways to promote tourism in the country.
Speaking at a function in which he was unveiling a shs85 million sponsorship deal by Solar Now in Kampala on Thursday ahead of the SMC Tarvan Kick Rally in Masaka, Masiko said rally drivers find a lot of hardships in a bid to maintain their participation in the game, yet it attracts a number of fans that can be tapped into by government to boost tourism.
“Right now, rally cars are tax free but that is not enough because the spares are still expensive. There should be a policy in place that everything to do with motorsport is subsidised to encourage the young blood join the sport,”Masiko said.
He cited an example of fuel where a rally driver coughs an average of shs300 million per year and many other costs to maintain the drivers, navigators and other crew , a thing he said is still expensive, calling upon government to come to the help of rally drivers.
According to the driver there is a bigger number of tourists visiting Kenya every year than in Uganda, a thing he partly attributed their vibrant motorsport industry.
“Motorsport is a game of numbers and these numbers contribute to tourism. Government can invest more in the industry to attract tourists even from the outside world who come in to watch the rallies,”Masiko said.
He said these big tourist number can translate into earnings by the locals and in turn boost the economy and development.
Masiko drives under the flagship management of Inertia Runway located in Mbarara and among other things, the company trains rally drivers but he said government needs to come in handy with policies that would encourage and boost the industry.
“If government could invest in such projects, it would encourage many to join the motorsport industry and in turn boost the economy through tourism.”
According to Douglas Dullo, the Solar Now country Sales Manager, such sponsors would help motivate young talents who would also be motivated to join the motorsport industry.
“When you sport these young blood, one day they might turn out to become international stars and boost tourism locally,”Dullo said.
Masiko will on Saturday participate in the SMC Tarvan Kick Rally in Masaka which is the third round on the National Rally Championship.
The Masaka event will have a competitive distance of 168.50km out of the total 313.38 km.