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Sports Sector needs to avoid outsiders resolving internal disputes

by Nnalubaale Sports
3 minutes read

The Sports sector has today afternoon seen yet another interesting intervention this time by the Inspector General of Government (IGG).

It has ordered the National Council of Sports (NCS) to send development assistance funds to the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF).

UNF reported to the IGG that despite submitting accountability to NCS, the same was queried under unfair circumstances.

And as a result, NCS has refused to advance funding to UNF since this financial year begun in July 2022.

Interventions by Parliament and the First Lady

Last year we had the Parliament of Uganda coming in to resolve a long-standing disagreement over the lack of a Sports Funds distribution Criteria.

I have also heard about the First Lady chairing meetings to resolve the current Netball – NCS dilemma.

We really need to have a good internal resolution of these matters without waiting for other people to intervene.

Disagreements between a few individuals should not affect innocent players, coaches, clubs, and schools.

The entire Sports sector cannot be earmarked for destruction because a few individuals at the helm have failed to agree with one another.

With everything I have seen and heard since I joined Ugandan sports, we must rise above this kind of evil.

There must be a separation of individualised egos and positions from institutional management practices.

The NCS- Table tennis Saga

I almost suffered this in Table Tennis because NCS refused to help our team even after we had had a good agreeable understanding on how to help that team travel to Djibouti for the recently concluded Regional Senior Championships.

We managed to bring back two vital medals for the country (Silver and Bronze). Up to now, we do not have the facilitation NCS promised.

You have to wonder what exactly some of our colleagues at this institution are thinking about how the Table Tennis team travelled and survived in Djibouti.

One thing for sure is that they left it to rot away in Uganda and did not care if it travelled or not.

If I had not done what I did, using my own funds, and getting assistance from our friends at the UOC, the entire TT team would have stayed in Uganda.

That outcome would have spelled doom for the innocent players and their careers. This is not good at all.

Finding Solutions Internally

I want to appeal to some of our colleagues at NCS to call for genuine talks to de-escalate these detrimental matters.

This is about the 6th time I am requesting for these talks.

A case for Unofficaial meetings in the sports sector

Even if they are not official, no problem because sometimes problems are more difficult to solve in official meetings.

I remember at the height of my war with NCS in 2018, all it took was an intervention by then Board Chairman Onyik Bosco and Dr. Ogwel Bernard.

We met unofficially and agreed to de-escalate hostilities and the war ended there and then.

Those of you who followed this war know very well that it was about to become protracted with disastrous outcomes.

We should not be allowing outsiders like Parliament and the IGG to resolve our matters. We can resolve these matters ourselves.

For instance, the Funding guidelines were resolved by Parliament then of course NCS refused to respect the Parliamentary appropriations.

This sparked off another hot disagreement that has now called in the IGG. Can we really not resolve our issues internally?

All this negative publicity is due to this failure and yet simple logic can iron out some of these things.

For example, if there are some problems with the current Uganda Netball Federation’s leadership of Hon. Sarah Babirye, does that mean that the entire Netball Sport plus all its Athletes and Coaches should now be left to suffer and their careers destroyed?

Is that where we really are? Because that then becomes illogical, cold-hearted, and very evil.

We need to have a genuine and resolute dialogue to fix our issues and avoid all this persistent negativity.

This sometimes calls for both official and unofficial engagements. And it sometimes calls for the involvement of other people who are not even the line leaders we know.

Allowing other people to keep resolving our problems is a very serious sign that something is terribly wrong somewhere.

A case for peace in the sports sector

I appeal again that as the Spots Family we try our best to bring peace to our home ourselves.

There is nothing impossible in this world. All these complaints causing trouble have complainants. If the complainant is sorted then the problem can be resolved.

If North Korea and South Korea, who almost went to Nuclear War later resolved their disagreements, then how about us?

In 2018 the North and South Korean Women’s Table Tennis teams joined hands and played together as one unified team under one flag to show the much-cherished desire to foster peace between these two nations.

If people about to shed blood can agree to work for peace, how about us here in mere Ugandan Sports sector?

So no one should think that peace in our Sports Sector is not possible despite the current issues.

All it takes is a deliberate and non-egoistic effort to genuinely engage in a peaceful de-escalation of hostilities.

And this means several meetings both official and unofficial but with sincere peace at heart.

But in many cases, such efforts must be initiated by the authority, who seemingly and realistically have more power in the ensuing detrimental feud.

The Writer is the President of the Uganda Table Tennis Association (UTTA) and Secretary General of the Union of Uganda Sports Federations and Associations (UUSFA).

By: Robert Jjagwe

Courtesy Photos


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