First Lady Maama Janet Museveni has lauded the patriotic sportsmen 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,” the First Lady said.
She made the remarks during a State luncheon for a group of athletes at State House Entebbe.
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.”
At the same event, Joshua Cheptegei and Victor Kiplangat were honoured.
“Our celebrated Gold Medalists! We note with gratitude that Joshua Cheptegei has won Gold at this event, three times: in Doha 2019, Oregon 2022 and Budapest 2023. Victor Kiplangat, on the other hand, is the reigning Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion for Birmingham 2022. In addition to this remarkable track record, some athletes set “Personal Bests Records” and “Season Bests Records”, at the Championship and thus by the efforts of our athletes, Uganda earned her space as part of that history,” the Minister said.
Maama Janet 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 3 billion, to at least 10 billion Uganda shillings.
“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 further 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 stressed.
“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.
Mr. Justus Mugisha, the president of Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association 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,” Mr. Mugisha said.
The top five secondary schools in sports were also awarded. The schools include; St. Mary’s Kitende, Kibuli S.S, St. Noah Girls Secondary School, Kawempe Muslim S.S and Budo S.S.
The luncheon was also attended by the Minister of State for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang, Members of Parliament, officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports and Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association, among others.