Over the years NCS has a responsibility to regulate all sports in Uganda by the act of parliament. However, there has been a misunderstanding of how the process of recognizing these various sports disciplines should be managed.
Ideally, a given sport must first exist, have functioning structures, be present on the ground, have a certain percentage of the country’s geographical coverage, have participants, functioning activities and or games, etc. Then, it is on that basis 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 the government to improve on the financial support to further develop the sport or to support its other development programs.
That’s how Federations should relate to the NCS. However, someone sits on a computer and writes a few documents, then submits to NCS for recognition and immediately the recognition.
After that recognition, this same organization starts accusing the government of not supporting it even without any activities. These organizations remain thin or nonexistent on the ground. This comes out like some kind of scheme for people to register the briefcase Federations while targeting government funds.
On the listing of the Federations and Associations currently registered or recognized by NCS, there are many that have no addresses, no activities, and no presence on the ground, schools – they have nothing. Maybe they existed in the past or they were never existent, save for their listing on paper.
A friend of mine told me it is now too late to screen these Federations to which my response was simple and direct. Do you remain in Parliament if after being voted in you are found with no papers?
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When you masquerade into a music concert and they find you without an entrance tag they will kick you out. It is important that NCS does immediate stock-taking, headcount, or a physical roll call on all these Sports Organizations before some things are done or debates of funding are 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 these sports Organizations.
But, with who is the discussion going to be? who does it benefit? and who qualifies to sit in that meeting?
For instance, 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 the ‘funding policy’? are you being serious?
My good friend Dr. Patrick Benard Ogwel will tell you that he is going to present NCS budgets to the parliament so that the government can support the Federations.
Normally you will have 40 or 50 something Federations 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 the ground? How many will you see with your eyes? Just move around the entire country with that list and see how many of those Federations on the list you will be able to find.
Another friend of mine argued that some federations don’t exist because they don’t have government support. Come on! Do you want the government to give you money so that you establish and develop your sport of choice? I would rather have your sport of choice running and government comes in as secondary support in specific areas.
What comes first, the sport or government funds?
I am not blaming the 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 being registered and recognized, but, they should immediately embark on the issues of physical stock-taking of these Federations before submitting further budgets to parliament. Otherwise, we risk misappropriating taxpayers’ money.
And now that after the COVID-19 crisis, we may not have a lot of sports activities, it is the best time for NCS to engage in the process of re-evaluating all these Federations and associations so that the ghosts are wiped-out and the actual Federations are streamlined.
The writer is the president of the Uganda Boxing Federation and AIBA ITO