Key stakeholders in the sports industry have decried the lack of adequate sports facilities country over.
This comes in the wake of a Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) probe into alleged misappropriation of Shs665 million meant for construction of Akii-Bua stadium in Lira.
Godfrey Nyakana an Olympic Gold Medalist and Patron of the Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF), says that there are lots of talent upcountry that has remained un- tapped because of lack of quality sports stadia hence denying the country sports revenues and employment.
Drawing parallels with the 1980’s Nyakana says that unlike then, majority of sports grounds in the county have either been neglected or sold off to private developers who have since set up commercial buildings.This he says has hindered sports development altogether.
“Back in the days, Kampala each school had numerous playgrounds which are no more. Old Kampala secondary had four pitches whereas Agha Khan had three for instance,” he laments.
That aside, Nyakana says that government think about constructing multi-disciplinary stadia other than opting to construct facilities that only cater for soccer arguing that other sports also deserve consideration.
“Not everyone plays soccer. So you need to consider other sports such as boxing, athletics and rugby among others,” Nyakana points out.
This view is shared by Justus Mugisha the first vice president Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), who says apparently majority of football clubs are ineligible for top flight football all due to bad pitches.
“This season alone, FUFA was forced to ban Mbarara city over a terrible playing surface, lack of an appropriate dressing room and pavilion at their Kakyeka home ground,” he says.
Sunday Okot the Gulu United Youth Academy coach says that much as Pece has been fairly renovated its heavily congested schedule has weighed heavily on the clubs’ performance. He says that at times his team has had to look for alternative grounds due to activities at the stadium.
“There are over five teams that use Pece and as such we have to keep alternating between different grounds at times,” Okot narrates.
Contrary to this, Alex Ruhunda the Fort Portal Municipality legislator and Tooro United patron says Kabarole as a district is not short of sports facilities. Other than Buhinga, he says that the district boasts of two play grounds at Saint Leo’s college, one at Kichwamba Poly technic College and another at Nyakasura School among many others.
However he quickly adds that, once construction of Buhinga is complete, it is likely to boost sports tourism and provide employment to the marginalized youth.
“With Buhinga complete, we can start thinking of international tournaments such as Nation Cup qualifiers something that will expose and advertise our district,” Ruhunda notes.