President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has reiterated the government’s commitment to develop all sports disciplines in Uganda now that the country has registered significant improvements in the economy.
According to the President, the focus is now on building more stadiums and training facilities across the country for all sports disciplines.
This was contained in his message delivered by the Vice President, Maj. (Rtd). Jessica Alupo Rose Epel at State House Entebbe, at a function to welcome the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy before the commencement of the cricket World Cup tournament in India.
H.E Museveni expressed his appreciation to the International Cricket Council for giving Uganda the opportunity to host the men’s Cricket World Cup tour. He said whereas the people of Uganda are pleased to associate with this sports event (Cricket World Cup) Uganda should stop being spectators.
“It is my firm belief that in the coming years, Uganda must be able to compete at the Cricket World Cup. We cannot be content with remaining as spectators. Uganda has produced a number of outstanding sportsmen and women in different fields such as athletics, boxing, football etc., and we shall continue to support our young people to hoist Uganda’s flag at great sports events,” H.E Museveni said.
President Museveni added that since 1986, the NRM government has been struggling with economic recovery, expansion, diversification and transformation and therefore had not paid sufficient attention to sports which have many benefits namely; fitness, fighting lifestyle diseases, entertainment and tourism.
The Minister of State for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang said with the tour of the prestigious Men’s World Cup Trophy, Ugandan youth and upcoming players will be highly motivated to play cricket.
“As we host the World Cup trophy today, we are focusing on motivating our people to fully embrace the spirit of sports and specifically the game of cricket. Uganda is number one in Africa and we are the champions of cricket as of now this year,” Minister Ogwang noted, adding that he’s among those who will support a proposal to include Cricket as part of all African games.
Minister Ogwang appreciated President Museveni for supporting sports in Uganda especially recognizing athletes with monthly stipends of 5 million shillings for gold winners, 3 million shillings for silver holders and one million shillings for bronze winners at All Africa Games, Olympics and Commonwealth Games respectively.
The Assistant General Secretary in charge of Technical Affairs at the National Council of Sports, Mr. David Katende said the coming of the Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy to Uganda is so significant in terms of realizing the country’s potential in the sport of cricket much as Uganda will not participate at the World Cup in India come October.
“This trophy is going to work as motivation to our many cricket players. We were supposed to have been at the World Cup in India, but we missed by a very small margin. Much as we shall not be there physically, we shall be there spiritually. Given the support that we are getting from the government, we must be in the next World Cup,” Mr. Katende said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Cricket Association, Mr. Alan Mugume paid tribute to his predecessors for the work leading up to the level of cricket sport in the country to the extent of getting international recognition.
“Uganda is a promising nation. We have a lot of talent and everything in place that has gotten us to this position,” Mugume said.
Uganda is the first country on the continent out of the only three countries in Africa and 20 countries around the world that have been given the privilege to host the Men’s Cricket World Cup Trophy as a countdown to the ICC World Cup in October to be held in India. The other countries on the continent are Nigeria and South Africa, selected by virtue of their significance to the sport both in Africa and globally.
The Cricket World Cup Trophy will be in Uganda up to August 29th, 2023, and will be in the cities of Kampala and Jinja and some iconic tourism sites with the sole purpose of identifying with the local cricket fraternity and inspiring the next generation of cricketers.
The 2023 Cricket World Cup will be hosted by India from October 5 to November 19.
The ceremony was also attended by officials from the National Council of Sports, the Uganda Cricket Association, the International Cricket Council and the Ministry of Education and Sports.