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Government Support To Volleyball Is Long Overdue – UVF President Hadija Namanda

Uganda Volleyball Federation President Hadija Namanda has finally revealed her discontent after no funds were allocated to Volleyball.

Namanda, mother to renown swimmer Kirabo Namutebi, is one of the few female head of sports federations in Uganda.

Despite Volleyball being one of the most followed sports discipline in the country – that has also raised the national flag internationally at both club and national level on various occasions – Volleyball is not a priority sport, per NCS.

Therefore, during the 2019/20 financial year, the federation received zero funding from the government.

Namanda says that she was not contented with the whole scenario irrespective of the fact that they had submitted all documents, budgets etc.

“Our teams participated in regional and continental events for this financial year including beach volleyball where we hosted the second round of the women qualifiers,” Namanda told The-SportsNation.

Uganda Volleyball Federation President Hadija Namanda. Courtesy

Other events included the women national team that took part in the first round in Dar, hosting the Men’s qualifiers in Entebbe and FIVB Level one coaching course.

The federation is set to hold the CAVB referees after the lockdown.

“As a federation, we run our league across the country, have school competitions and a league that runs for seven months. A calendar with several open championships.

“Our National teams participated in the continental qualifiers including age group. Government support to volleyball is long overdue.”

With next financial year’s budget set to be cut, Namanda has termed the whole situation ‘devastating.’

Sports will face a cut of Sh8bn in the appropriation bill that has already been passed.

“The sports budget is still so so low and cutting it is devastating. We have not received support for the 2019/20 financial year but had the hope of a better budget for next financial year towards the federation.

“Owing to the pandemic that is still looming, infrastructure development benefitting most federations would be a good investment for sports instead of having the budget sliced.”

Last year, UVF faced challenges to access the Indoor Arena during the FIVB level two exams and Zonal qualifies.

Despite having minor altercations with NCS, Namanda says that both parties (UVF and NCS) “enjoy a cordial relationship.”

With a new sports minister (state) in Hon Hamson Obua, and a new NCS board led by Dr Donald Rukare, Namanda has the confidence in the new team and believes that they should take this opportunity to look into pertinent issues affecting sports nationally.

“National sports act should be priority. Equitable funding for sports federation is a key area they should focus on too. Infrastructure development is key coupled with capacity building.

“The new team is already engaging stakeholders in the key areas of funding and policy development and I believe with stakeholder engagement and input, they will walk the talk.”

In addition to the above, the UVF president stressed that the new team should maximise their offices to support federations in the following areas:

“Support federations with offices in a centralised location like Nambole. The NCS M&E requires federations to have homes but most are struggling hence supporting federation with centralised offices would go a long way in assisting their Secretariats.

“Equitable financing if federations whereby each federation is supported in from the resource envelop to help technical and grassroot development as well as national teams.

“NCS should help in the interagency area like letters if good conduct from Interpol. The funds needed by teams and the time needed to get them could explicitly be handled with support from NCS especially for national teams.

Namanda added that NCS should help federations in tax waivers from donations of equipment from International bodies and other donations geared towards sports development, Capacity building for coaches, referees, administrators of federations and clubs, work with corporate bodies to build collaboration between sports and corporate bodies in terms of partnerships and sponsorships.

She highlighted that UVF will continue looking out for Partnerships to support its activities.

“This year, UVF had also sent out proposals and were expectant to have some get on board. Our game is more competitive by the day and the results in competitions and qualifiers are promising. The future is bright.

“We have Daudi Okello who is one of the best players in Korea today. Our National men’s team beat Rwanda after many years and were ranked 2nd in the zone behind Egypt at the All Africa games qualifiers in Nairobi. If the numbers had not been reduced by the host, they would have qualified for the AAG.

“Same applies to the women who were ranked 2nd behind Kenya and would have qualified too. Our FIVB rankings for both the men and women and the boys and girls teams have improved. We have a great product to sell out there. Just in need of partners to walk the journey with us.”

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