By Moses Muhangi
Over the years the National Council of Sports (NCS) has had the responsibility to regulate all sports in Uganda by the act of parliament, but there has been a fallacy or a misunderstanding on how the process of recognition of these various sports disciplines has been managed.
Ideally, a given sport must first exist, have functioning structures, be present on ground, have a certain percentage of the country’s geographical coverage , have participants, functioning leagues or games etc and on the basis of that such a sport could get a recognition certificate from NCS
That sport then goes on to function business as usual and in the event that there is need for that Federation to come up with a select team that can represent Uganda in international games , then NCS would hence come in to support that team to the scheduled games
After the games are done, irrespective of the outcome then that sports leadership can then ask government to further support it financially to further develop the sport or to support its other development programs
That’s how Federations should relate with NCS but someone sitting on a computer and writes a few documents here and there , then submits to NCS for recognition and immediately after the sports federation gets a recognition
After that recognition the one starts saying government is not supporting us to develop our sports , or government should do this or do that is a huge fallacy when that sport is thin or non existent on ground. It also comes out as if there is a scheme for people to register briefcase Federation to target government funds.
On the lists of the federations currently registered or recognized by NCS, there are federations that have no address, no games , no presence, not visible on ground , not in schools, etc nothing .. maybe they existed in the past or they were never existent, save for their listings on paper.
A friend of mine was saying , “Mr. Muhangi what you are saying is true but you see it now too late to screen these federations.” I said sir when you are found in parliament with no academic qualifications do you stay there? When you masquerade into a music concert and they find you with out a entrance tag they will kick you out … so it is important that NCS does immediate stock taking, head count , physical roll call of all these federations before some things are done or debates embarked on
NCS is now in the process of discussing and developing a funding policy on how government monies should be distributed or appropriated to federations, but discussing this noble debate with who? Whom will it benefit ? Who qualifies to sit in that meeting? Forinstance my friend Mr. Magogo Moses will tell you he has a burden of supporting 6 or 8 national teams of football , and you want him to sit in a meeting with a man who has a Federation, a national team, his fans, his athletes on paper or in a briefcase to discuss funding policy are you being serious ?
My good friend Dr. Ogwel will tell you that he is going to present NCS budgets in parliament so that government can support the federations, normally you will have 40 or 50 something federations on the list , on paper but sincerely if you the reader of this article walked in any part of the country with that list of federations, how many will you find on ground? How many will you see with your eyes , just traverse the entire country with that list and tell me how many of the Federations on the list you were able to find
Another friend of mine argued that , you see some federations don’t exist because they don’t have government support, c’mon! Do you want government to give you money so that you establish and develop your sport of choice or you must have had your sport of choice running and government comes in as secondary support in specific areas. What comes first the sport or government funds?
I dont blame NCS for anything over this matter because most of the leaders we have at NCS are now new members, maybe they were not there when these federations were recognised BUT they now must immediately embark on the issues of physical stock taking of these federations before submitting further budgets to parliament otherwise we risk squandering tax payers monet
And now that after covid we may not have a lot sports activities, it is the best time for NCS to engage in the process of re evaluation of all these sports federations and associations so that the ghosts are out and the actual Federations are streamlined