The Federation of Uganda Basketball Association (FUBA) has appealed to Parliament to push and help them lobby for the construction of a multi-purpose indoor arena by government.
According to Nasser Sserunjogi, the FUBA President said once in place, the arena will facilitate the growth of indoor sports in Uganda. He was on Thursday appearing before Parliament’s select committee that is currently inquiring into activities of the National Council of Sports (NCS).
The investigation commissioned by Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among was sparked off by a heated debate in which MPs reported inconsistencies in appropriated figures by Parliament and releases to the sports sub-sector. The MPs also questioned the inconsistencies in money given to different sports federations without clear criteria.
Sserunjogi says that the current Lugogo Indoor Arena does not effectively meet the regional and international standards of hosting games and this has denied Uganda opportunities to host tournaments.
He told MPs that Lugogo sits a total of 1000 spectators compared to the international standard of a minimum of 3000 people. Also reported is that the arena has a rubber surface instead of a wooden one and lacks medical, media and changing rooms.
Sserunjogi says that this is an impeding factor to the growth of sports as government has to incur huge expenses by taking games that would have been played in Uganda abroad.
He also revealed that the arena is used by other sports like volleyball, netball, badminton, table tennis and other private events, and that different federations, currently compete for the same space.He said that an arena should only be dedicated for sports.
Sserunjogi said that Ugandan needs to construct a modern multi-purpose indoor arena that will attract not only tourism in Uganda but also help develop talent.
Regarding the federation budget, Sserunjogi said that they usually submit a request of 5 billion Shillings to the National Council of Sports, but they have been getting less.
He told MPs that the limited funds have severally failed the federation to send teams abroad for competitions.
Sserunjogi also said that sometimes they operate on credit, something that the select committee questioned.
Donald Katalihwa, the Mwenge South said the 300 million Shillings that the Federation had borrowed was too huge. He demanded more information about this funding and whether it was attracting interest.
However, Sserunjogi said that failure by the National Council of Sports (NCS) to avail the federation enough funds forced them to borrow to travel for games. He said that the money is borrowed from friends of the association.
Laura Kanushu, the chairperson of the select committee tasked Sserunjogi to explain the declaration of funds got from other places, and whether they are involved in the budgeting process with NCS.
In response, Sserunjogi said they only submit in their proposed budget and do not engage in any other meetings with NCS regarding the budget.