Legislators highlighted limited funding to the national teams in different sports disciplines including basketball, football and netball among others has let the sector down.
The MPs made the call while debating a motion to congratulate the men’s national basketball team, the Silverbacks and the under l6 boys and girls’ national basketball teams.
Silverbacks and the under 16 national basketball teams qualified for the FIBA Africa Cup of Nations finals from 24 August to 05 September in Kigali, and the FIBA Africa Cup of Nations finals from 05 to 06 August in Cairo respectively.
Santa Alum said that the Silverbacks were not facilitated for the last qualifying set of games to the Africa tournament, which forced them to borrow US$100,000 to participate in the games.
She added that all teams save for Uganda’s teams, are already in camp preparing for the FIBA Afrobasket Finals.
“I pray that it therefore, be resolved by this Parliament that Government of Uganda raises the funds to facilitate both teams for the continental Basketball tournaments,” she said adding that ‘Government of Uganda should urgently facilitate both teams lo report to camp in selected locations to sharpen their preparation for the continental tournaments’.
The motion was moved by Hon Santa Alum
Hon. Moses Magogo (NRM, Budiope East) who seconded the motion, called on Government to acquire, rehabilitate, maintain and construct sports infrastructure across the country to international standards.
“Government also needs to fund our national athletes and teams who compete in international competitions representing Uganda, starting from talent identification, development, preparation and reward for excellence,” Magogo said.
Kalungu West MP, Hon. Joseph Ssewungu attributed the slow progress of sports growth in the county to the old law, the National Council of Sports Act, 1964, which said needed to be amended.
Hon. Geoffrey Feta (NRM, Ayivu East) said that the challenge of unemployment can be tackled if Government funds sports very well, adding that Parliament has a responsibility of giving more money to the sector to help impact sports skills in children.
Hon Lilian Aber (NRM, Kitgum District) said there is need to improve funding to the sports sector, saying if taken seriously, it could present as a source of revenue to support the country through tourism.
State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. John Chrysostom Muyingo commended the basketball teams on their victories.
He told the House that funding and facilitating sports activities in the county was premised on the amount of monies allocated to the sector, saying that it was upon Parliament to authorize borrowing to facilitate the sector.
“Sports is one of the underfunded sectors, but it has a strategic plan that will be presented to Parliament at an appropriate time,” Muyingo added.
The Vice President, HE Jessica Alupo said the Education and Sports Ministry took a decision to amend the National Council of Sports Act, 1964 to match the current standards of sports.
“I implore the House to support the Bill when it comes to Parliament because it has so many solutions to some of the problems we have been talking about,” Alupo said.
She added that she was optimistic that the President, H.E Yoweri Museveni would support the basketball teams at the FIBA Africa Cup of Nations finals.
The Deputy Speaker tasked the Sports Minister through the National Council of Sports, to refund the US$100,000 borrowed by FUBA to facilitate the national basketball team – the Silverbacks at the FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers.
“We need to improve the funding of sports in the next budget so that we do not have scenarios of athletes borrowing money to participate in regional or international engagements,” Among added.