National Council of Sports (NCS) General Secretary Dr Patrick Bernard Ogwel has clarified on rows with Federations about hiring sports facilities in Lugogo.
Many federations have cried foul after their attempts to access the sports facilities have been blocked.
Ogwel, while appearing on Urban TV on Friday, explained that NCS follows a ‘first come first serve’ policy to allocate the facilities.
He commented that there are few facilities available to meet the demands of all federations but “one of our primary role is to provide sports facilities” to the federations.”
“But of recent, we had many federations start talking in corridors that they are being denied access and time to use the facilities,” Ogwel said.
“What you have to know is that there are many federations who use, for example the arena – like Basketball, Netball, Volleyball, Badminton, Boxing among others. There are many events which bring congestion and it so happen that they might clash.
“Our policy at Council is that we use ‘the first come, first serve’ basis.”
Many federations have felt hard done by the fact that they are charged to use the facilities.
Ogwel responded that the charges of hire of facilities is reviewed from time to time by NCS committee for business and investment of council which forms a user guideline for all sports facilities within NCS.
The user guideline comes with rates for hire of every particular facility in terms of duration of use and also the type of event.
He added that national teams are not charged to use the facilities:
“National teams whether junior or senior, its free. That is a fact. National federations activities like League games, they pay a moderate fee to subsidies on maintenance. They are very minimal rates.”
Ogwel revealed that there is a proposal from the new council, led by Dr Donald Rukare that no federation will be charged if the government subvention improves.
NCS has been blamed on various occasions for hiring out facilities to non sporting activities like music and gospel concerts.
Uganda Cricket Association has over time had to endure the poor Lugogo Cricket Oval when left in a worrying state from damages caused by mass gatherings who attend the music concerts at the place.
In 2012, Federation of Uganda Basketball Association was blocked from using the MTN Indoor Arena in a row which was visibly a clash of sponsors. The ugly incidents happened when Airtel had taken naming rights of the National Basketball League after MTN had ended their contract with FUBA.
Uganda Hockey has had her own struggles as well. Hockey players have always complained of failing to access the ground especially in the morning for training as the pitch is used by Proline football academy. One weekend last year, league action was halted after NCS had hired the pitch for EA Parliamentary games.
Uganda Boxing Federation, led by the vocal Moses Muhangi, has complained about the failure to access the gym at Lugogo and indoor arena.
Uganda Volleyball Federation last year, there was a delay of opening the indoor for the zonal qualifies among other incidents.
The Netball, Badminton and other Federations have faced similar incidents.