“Discipline, fear of the Lord is Key”- President Museveni advise sports youth

“Discipline, fear of the Lord is Key”- President Museveni advise sports youth

By Emmanuel Sekago

The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Wednesday afternoon met the World Athletics Champion in Budapest, Hungary, and the USSSA schools at the Federation of East Africa Secondary School Sports Association (FEASSSA) games in Kigali, Rwanda at statehouse, Entebbe.

The Uganda secondary schools sports associations (USSSA) contingent was headed by President Justus Mugisha and executive, and the World Athletics team was Captained by AIP Joshua Cheptegei along side the Uganda athletics federation president Dominic Outchet, while the schools were lead by their respective headteachers.

Jinja senior secondary school team at Statehouse

Also present was State Minister for sports and Ngariam county member of parliament Hon Peter Ogwang plus the commissioner Physical education Rev Duncan Mugumya and others.

He congratulated them upon the victory over winning the overall trophy in Rwanda and also the athletics team for winning Gold at the world athletics championship in Budapest, Hungary.

You recall when the President of Uganda met the cranes at the statehouse in Entebbe and congratulated them upon the victory over Cape Verde qualifying for AFCON 2019.

“From my footballing experience, I know that the following ingredients are important for the game; stamina, skill and teamwork. Stamina is critical because you do a lot of running. You must eat well, exercise and avoid alcohol, smoking and womanizing.” said President Museveni.

Athletics team

On Wednesday afternoon at Statehouse, Entebbe the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni also advised athletes that they must be disciplined if they want to go far with their sports careers.

“Alcohol, prostitution, fighting and all that, don’t go well with sports and they can ruin your life. Sports must go with discipline and the fear of the Lord, then your future will be bright,” said President Museveni.

The President made the remarks on Wednesday afternoon as he hosted the athletics team and the USSSA Schools teams that represented Uganda at FEASSA games in Rwanda to a State luncheon at State House Entebbe.

The luncheon was organised by the President and the First Lady who also serves as the Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni.
President Museveni also congratulated the teams that have been doing well for Uganda in the past years.

Some of the USSSA student who participated in Feassa games in Rwanda

“In the recent past, you have just heard about the performance in Oregon, Budapest and in Rwanda. Before that we had Tokyo where we watched the Olympics. I really want to thank you. I’m an old sportsman and a sports enthusiast as well as some sort of sports historian because I have been watching the performance of our teams, starting with the one of 1954 in Perth, Australia,” he said.

President Museveni revealed that sports development in Uganda was a bit delayed due to bad politics in the past regimes where the country’s economy totally collapsed.

“But even during that bad time in 1972, that is when Akii-Bua won his hurdles in Munich, Germany. By the time we came into the government in 1986, the system of the country had really collapsed. Therefore, we concentrated on minimum recovery of the economy, the expansion of the small modern sector, diversification and then introducing the new sectors which were not there before,” he said.

“What I can say now is that we have not yet started because we have not really done so much for sports specifically. We have not yet started seriously to take advantage of our potential.”
President Museveni also welcomed the concept of developing minimum zonal infrastructure to promote sports from the grassroot.

“Having two stadiums per zone in all the 19 USSSA zones. That is a very good idea, we shall study it and we shall have to determine whether we put this zonal infrastructure in schools or one in school and one for Community. That would be a very good beginning for those zonal competitions to take place.”

“I always tell you the value of sports, they are good for fitness , character building, it trains people about the good thing of cooperation since sports needs teamwork, entertainment for the spectators and finally it has become a source of living for the sports people. Therefore, sports should be properly understood and explained to our people,” he said.

“Because of that, even when we had little capacity, that is when I undertook that effort of saying that anybody who wins a gold medal, my Office of State House will give him a monthly stipend of UGX 5m, silver medal UGX 3m, then the one of bronze I think its UGX 1m.”

The President also promised that the beneficiaries that have since missed out on the offer ever since it was put in place, were going to receive their full payments.

He further reiterated his call to attach personalities who are doing well in sports into the prisons, police, army and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), saying that this will help them to have an address and a small salary.

President Museveni also informed the sports men and women that the government will allocate a bus to each Uganda secondary schools sports associations (USSSA)zone in the country.
The First Lady and Minister of Education and sports, Maama Janet Museveni lauded the patriotic sports men and women for bringing great pride to Uganda.

“The World Athletics Championship hosted 195 countries and Uganda was ranked 11th out of the 39 countries that won medals. It is worth noting that Uganda ranked higher than renowned countries such as: Australia, Greece, Japan, France and China, and for that, all Honor and glory goes to our God. Furthermore, Uganda was placed 3rd, in Africa after Kenya and Ethiopia. We thank God for this achievement,” said maama.

She urged the sports men and women to work harder to ensure that Uganda becomes the best in the sports arena of Africa and the world at large.
“We may have improved on our sports record as we see here but being number 3 or number 11 is not enough, we should work more to be the best.”

Maama Janet Museveni also appealed to the Government to enhance talent identification and development in more than 75% of the districts, by increasing the Annual Subvention to the Uganda Athletics Federation, from the current amount of UGX 3 billion, to at least UGX 10Bn.

“We also urge the Government to promote this sport, by paying stipends to athletes who win medals at all the continental and global events, and to take into account the current outstanding pledges and stipends,” she said.

“Furthermore, we call for the operationalization of the National Anti-doping Organization (NADO) in Uganda, to avoid the Country being declared non-compliant. This will require minor amendments to the recently passed National Sports Act, so as to enable compliance with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) Code.”

She appealed to the Government, to support the hosting of the Annual Continental Cross Country Tour, which will carry on the legacy of the World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017; and the Africa U18 and U20 Athletics Championships in 2025.

The First Lady also tasked sports stakeholders to direct more attention to the FEASSSA teams that have carried Uganda’s National Flag to various international competitions, where they emerged victorious.

“Today, we stand tall, filled with pride and deep gratitude for the achievements in the Sports Sub Sector, which I attribute to the selfless commitment of the young sports men and women, as well as the support from their school administration, and the National Sports Federations and Associations,” Maama Janet stated.

“I also congratulate my Team at the Ministry of Education and Sports, and National Council of Sports for their dedication and support. These successes demonstrate that the Government is now receiving a positive return on investment from the Sports Subsector, which has significantly increased Uganda’s international marketing and foreign exchange earnings, while also promoting our socio-economic development,” she added.

The Minister further highlighted that Uganda now competes favourably in the international sports arena, because of the firm foundation created in sports in schools, explaining that the scope of international competitions is now broader than in the past, with school sports competitions going beyond the Federation of East African Secondary School Sports Games.

Regarding the national development of sports infrastructure, Maama Janet was pleased to report that the Mandela Stadium refurbishment is progressing well.

Meanwhile, the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association also Federation of East africa schools sports association president Justus Mugisha thanked President Museveni and Maama Janet for supporting sports in the country.

“The support and facilitation you have been giving us has enabled us to continue winning,” said Mugisha.
The top five secondary schools in sports were also awarded. The schools include; St. Mary’s secondary school -Kitende, Kibuli Secondary School, St. Noah Girls Secondary School, Kawempe Muslim Senior secondary school and Buddo secondary school.

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