MPS HONOR SHE CRANES, CALL FOR MORE FUNDING FOR SPORTS SECTOR
By Joel Mugabi
Parliament has saluted the Uganda National Netball team, the She Cranes, for their performance at the Penta Africa Games 2021. During Wednesday’s plenary, Oyam District Woman MP Santa Alum moved a motion for Parliament to pay tribute to the She Cranes for doing so well at the recently concluded the Penta Africa Games 2021.
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The She Cranes were crowned champions of the Africa Netball 2021 Pent Series in Windhoek after outshining national netball teams from five countries on the continent: Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya.
MP Alum’s motion also sought to request government to increase the annual budgetary allocation to the sports sub-sector in order to adequately facilitate and develop sports in the country through talent development initiatives such as competitions among schools.
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The motion also sought to encourage Ugandans with potential talent in sports, especially the youth, to emulate the example set by the She Cranes as an accomplished team.
During debate on Alum’s motion, Nakaseke District Woman MP Sarah Najjuma complained that the government had continued to prioritize football while neglecting netball.
Najjuma further called for deliberate efforts in promoting sports in the country, instead of government and companies picking interest in sportsmen and women after they have struggled to make it to the top.
“There is unfair allocation of resources to the netball federation compared to FUFA which receives more,” submitted Najjuma. “In Uganda we have tendency to struggle on their own and when they are successful, we jump on board.”
Rakai District Woman MP Suubi Kinyamatama emphasized that it was unfair to give Moses Magogo’s Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Shs10bn and a measly Shs120m to the Netball Federation.
But Magogo, also the Budiope East MP explained that netball is a sport for men and women, and that Uganda has a national Netball team for men and women. He added: “Football is equally a sports for men and women. We have a National football team for men and women.”
Kilak North MP Anthony Akol called for the creation of a separate Ministry of Sports. “It is important that we start thinking about creating a separate Ministry of Sports, otherwise mixing Education and Sports has brought problems in the Country,” said Akol.
“I used to think that the Minister in charge of Education and Sports [First Lady Janet Museveni] is very close to the ‘big man,’ that she can always remind him that there are promises pending which are very important…”
Leader of opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga, called for more investment in sports infrastructure, promotion of other sports besides football as well as protection of stadia for greedy businessmen and politicians.
“We need to invest regional sports arena. The land grabbers have threatened and we need to invest in these [pieces of] land by developing them,” said Mpuuga, also Nyendo-Mukungwe MP. “Let us make provision for various sports disciplines and just football.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org).