President Yoweri Museveni has made fresh commitments to the sports industry, among them rewarding excellent athletes who win medals for Uganda, with cash, houses and cars.
He also committed to follow up on the stalled construction of Teryet High Altitude Training Centre in Tereyet Sub County in Kapchorwa district.
The President made the pledge while meeting with a group of sports personalities at State House Entebbe where he co-hosted them with the First Lady also Minister of Sports, Janet Museveni.
About 400 sports personalities as well as teachers attended the luncheon and dinner at State House in celebration of what has been a great sporting year for Uganda.
In a statement posted on his social platforms, President Museveni said his pledge to excelling athletes still stands.
“If an athlete wins a gold medal at either continental or global championship, they are entitled to Shs 5 million monthly salary, silver is Shs 3 million and bronze Shs1 million, ” he said.
“The government will also build a house and buy a car for athletes who win gold at international championships like the Commonwealth or the Olympics”.
Museveni commented on the planned construction of Teryet High Altitude Training Centre which was committed to by government several years ago has been stalled. The President questioned the logic behind the delays when the funds needed to develop the sports facility are available
“I will personally follow up on the issue of delays to complete Teryet High Altitude Training Centre”. I do not buy the explanation that the rains are responsible for these delays and yet money is available,” he said.
“I think some unscrupulous people are intentionally delaying this project”.
Uganda was ranked 9th best in the World Athletics Championship, 3rd in Africa Athletics, 6th in World Netball, qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo and emerged winner in the East Africa Schools Championships in Arusha and the Interforces Games in Nairobi.
There were other sporting successes in other fields like boxing, swimming, rowing, woodball, rugby, among others.
Museveni congratulated all the athletes who represented our country and brought us honour and pride.
Ugandan long distance runner, Joshua Cheptegei who spoke on behalf of the athletes acknowledged the importance of the peace the country is enjoying in creating a conducive environment for sports.
Last year, Cheptegei set a world record for the 15 km road race and became the World Cross Country champion in 2019. In 2019 in Doha, he won a gold medal in the 10,000m men’s finals.
The President explained that government has not been able to fully support sports due to the other pressing national needs.
Nonetheless, he said, government is indirectly supporting sport through infrastructure development, stability and others. He also cited interventions like immunization and universal education as helpful.
“However, we shall incrementally commit more resources to sports. I have directed that excelling sportspeople be absorbed in the armed forces so that they get a salary, an address and technical support through coaching”.
He said government will start building Akii Bua Stadium and another in Kabarole, adding that in the long run, all the traditional 18 sub-regions of Uganda will get a stadium each.
He also mentioned Nakivubo Stadium which is also being rehabilitated by city tycoon Ham Kiggundu.