By Kampala Post Reporter
ENTEBBE. The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni on Wednesday evening flagged-off Secondary School Sports teams that will represent Uganda at the 17th edition of the Federation of East African Secondary School Sports Associations (FEASSSA) Games Championship due in Rwanda next week.
Uganda will be represented at the Championship in Rwanda by a total of 766 students from 56 Secondary School Teams. They will participate in 13 sports disciplines which include Football, Rugby 15s, Rugby Sevens, Netball, Volleyball, Handball, Hockey, Athletics, Swimming, Table-Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Badminton and Basketball.
The First Lady flagged- off Team Uganda at State House Entebbe at a function witnessed by the State Minister for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi, the Executive Chairman Brookside Dairy Limited Muhoho Kenyatta, officials from Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association, National Council of Sports and Officials from the Ministry of Education’s Department of Physical Education and Sports.
Mrs. Janet Museveni congratulated the students for emerging the best sportsmen and women at secondary school level and urged them to represent Uganda with confidence, selflessness, dedication and pride.
“I trust that with our prayers you will win and come back triumphant,” she said.
She noted that the level of Uganda’s sports performance has improved tremendously in the last ten years and Uganda is now growing stronger by the day, and for this, she praised God.
She pointed out that most of the athletes representing Uganda at major international sports events like the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, All Africa Games, World Championships and others are fruits of programmes implemented by the Department of Physical Education and Sports in her Ministry, in conjunction with the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association.
She commended the Schools Sports Associations for the commitment to develop sports talent in schools because this is the foundation and nursery for sports talent identification and development. She also thanked all people who were involved in preparing Team Uganda for the FEASSSA games.
The First Lady pledged that her Ministry will continue to support the schools’ sports and physical education programmes such as the Kids Athletics and Special Needs, Primary Ball Games, Secondary Schools, Tertiary Institutions and Universities Championships.
She said that Government will also consider increasing the schools’ sports budget to match the growing activities and performance of the student athletes.
Mrs. Museveni reiterated Government’s commitment to the development of sports and highlighted some achievements including the construction of the National High-Altitude Training Centre which is underway in Kapchorwa, supporting excelling athletes to access Government sponsorship in Public Universities, developing Sport Schools into Centres of Sports Excellence and supporting National Sports Teams to participate in international competitions.
During the flag-off ceremony, a Fresh Dairy five- year Sponsorship of the Uganda Secondary Schools Ball Games 1 worth 3.8 billion Uganda Shillings was unveiled by Mr. Muhoho Kenyatta the Executive Chairman Brookside Dairy Limited, who is also a brother to Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr. Muhoho Kenyatta also handed over competition uniforms for Team Uganda to the First Lady and said that Brookside Dairy, through their Fresh Dairy flagship brand, is proud to be associated with Team Uganda to this year’s East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Championship. He said this is part of Fresh Dairy’s Corporate Social Responsibility and aims at building motivation among the players and to uplift their chances of becoming great champions in the years to come.
The President of Uganda Secondary School Sports Association Patrick Okanya appreciated the Ministry of Education and Sports and other stakeholders’ support towards the FEASSSA Games. He however decried the low funding for Educational Institutions sports activities and appealed to Government to dedicate more resources for Physical Education and Sports programmes at school level.
“We pledge to fly Uganda’s Flag high at the forthcoming Games due in Rwanda,” Okanya said.