Sports federations have welcomed additional funding to the sports sector. According to the 2022/23 financial year budget figures read by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija on Tuesday, the sports sector will receive Shillings 47.81 billion up from Shillings 17billion provided in the last financial year.
Of this, Shillings 17billion has been ring-fenced for the Federation of Uganda Football Association-FUFA with Shillings 5 billion specifically going to women’s football development. In the last financial year, FUFA bagged Shillings 10 billion out of the Shillings 18 billion allocated to the entire sector.
The remaining money will finance other sports disciplines. Dr. Patrick Ogwel, the Secretary-General of the National Council of Sports-NCS, says that the additional funding will strengthen Uganda’s competitiveness in international competitions and boost the talent identification process across all sports disciplines.
Jaggwe Robert, the President of the Uganda Table Tennis Association- UTTA has also welcomed the additional funding, which he believes will improve the image and performance of all sports disciplines. He is however dissatisfied by the decision to ring-fence a huge sum of the money for FUFA, as all federations are equally important and ought to know what they are entitled to.
Nevertheless, he says that given the increase in funding, they will embark on boosting their local league, particularly by broadcasting the games on television, which he believes will help them attract private sponsorship.
Moses Muhangi, the President of Uganda Boxing Federation says the budget increment comes as an advantage.
Adding that, “let someone get 17 billion Shillings when they are deserving it but now people get whatever they get, not because they deserve it but the way we run public institutions…. we shall continue to advocate for funding equality.”
Godwin ‘Tonchu’ Kayangwe, Uganda Rugby Union president says that the increment will help various federations in running their national teams, which he says has been challenging.
“An increase in budget is always good. It gives hope, but what actually trickles down to your own federation is what matters. I think the current leadership at NCS is engaging. They have tried to consult federations on numerous occasions and I believe with the increment we as federations will get some relief especially since national teams are very expensive, and lots of help is needed here,”. Kayangwe told URN.
The increase in the sports budget comes at a time when Uganda is expected to participate in more than 10 sports disciplines at the forthcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled for July and August, in Birmingham. These include boxing, table tennis, athletics, netball, and rugby sevens, among others.
The netball and rugby sevens teams have already qualified for the event. She Cranes qualified by virtue of their world ranking as of January 2022. They rank 6th globally and 2nd in Africa while Uganda Rugby Cranes sevens qualified after winning the African Rugby sevens cup of nations in April this year. In 2021, Uganda registered one of its biggest performances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
Uganda managed to win a record four medals, the best performance ever. These include Peruth Chemutai’s 3000m steeplechase gold, Joshua Cheptegei’s gold in 5000m and a silver in the 10,000m, bronze for Jacob Kiplimo in the 10000m plus, David Emong’s bronze in the Paralympic games.
Now, as teams shape up for the 2022 commonwealth games, the state minister for Sports and Education, Hamson Obua has already confirmed that Shillings 7 billion will be available to facilitate athletes in the games.