The patriotic athletes have been praised by First Lady Maama Janet Museveni for making Uganda very proud.
Out of the 39 nations who took home medals at the World Athletics Championship, Uganda was placed eleventh out of 195 participating nations. It is noteworthy that Uganda outperformed well-known nations like Australia, Greece, Japan, France, and China, and all praise and glory is due to God for that. In addition, Uganda was ranked third in Africa, after Ethiopia and Kenya.We give God praise for this accomplishment,” the First Lady said.
She said this during a State luncheon held at State House Entebbe for a group of athletes.
She challenged the athletes, both male and female, to put in more effort so that Uganda may rise to the top of both the African and global sports scenes.
“Although our sports record has improved, ranking third or eleventh is still insufficient; we need to strive to be the best.”
Victor Kiplangat and Joshua Cheptegei received honors at the same event.
“Our esteemed Gold Medal Winners! We are happy to report that Joshua Cheptegei has won three gold medals in this event: in Budapest in 2023, Oregon in 2022, and Doha in 2019. The current Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion for Birmingham 2022, however, is Victor Kiplangat. Uganda won her place in that history because to the efforts of her athletes, the Minister said. In addition to this incredible record, other athletes set “Personal Bests Records” and “Season Bests Records” during the Championship.
Maama Janet also urged the government to increase the yearly funding to the Uganda Athletics Federation from the existing 3 billion Uganda shillings to at least 10 billion Uganda shillings, in order to improve talent discovery and development in over 75% of the districts.
In addition, she urged the government to “account for the current outstanding pledges and stipends, and to promote this sport by paying stipends to athletes who win medals at all the continental and global events.”
In addition, we demand that Uganda’s National Anti-doping Organization (NADO) be operationalized in order to prevent the nation from being deemed non-compliant. The newly established National Sports Act will need to be somewhat modified in order to allow for compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.
She also urged the government to support the hosting of the World Cross-Country Championships in Kampala in 2017 and the Africa U18 and U20 Athletics Championships in 2025, which would continue the heritage of these events.
The First Lady also gave sports stakeholders an assignment to focus more on the FEASSSA teams that have represented Uganda in international games and won championships.
“Nowadays, we stand tall, full of pride and profound gratitude for the accomplishments in the Sports Sub Sector, which I attribute to the National Sports Federations and Associations, their school administration, and the selfless dedication of the young athletes,” Maama Janet emphasized.
“I also want to thank the National Council of Sports and my team at the Ministry of Education and Sports for their hard work and support. These achievements show that the Sports Subsector is now giving the Government a good return on investment, she said. “This has improved Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings and international marketing, and it has also advanced our socio-economic development,” she said.
The Minister went on to say that Uganda is currently competitive in the international sports arena because of the strong foundation that school sports have established. She clarified that school sports competitions now extend beyond the Federation of East African Secondary School Sports Games, and that international competitions are now more expansive than in the past.
In terms of the country’s sports infrastructure development, Maama Janet was happy to announce that the renovation of Mandela Stadium is moving along well.
The president of the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association, Mr. Justus Mugisha, expressed gratitude to Maama Janet and President Museveni for their support of sports in the nation.
“We have been able to keep winning because of the support and assistance you have been providing,” Mr. Mugisha said.
There were additional awards given to the top five secondary schools in sports. Along with St. Mary’s Kitende, Kibuli S.S., Kawempe Muslim S.S., and Budo S.S. are among the schools.
Members of Parliament, representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association, and the Hon. Peter Ogwang, Minister of State for Sports, were also present at the luncheon.