Sports Scientists body petitions First Lady Janet Museveni, Minister of Public Service

The Uganda Society of Sports Science and Physical Education (USSSPE) on Friday submitted a strongly worded petition to the offices of the First Lady and Minister of Sports cum education Janet Kataha Museveni as well as the Minister of Public Service, Wilson Muliri Mukasa.

Sports and Education minister, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni

This petition, of which Kawowo Sports has a copy intends to put right the mess in the docket of the sport science and physical education.

In particular, the petition hints to restructure the Sports Office at Local Government level, call for the funding of sports activities to be charged from conditional grants and the Sports Officers to be placed on the Science Salary Scale.

The General Secretary of the Association, Mustapaha Nsubuga, who signed the petition alongside the  also confirmed having handed over the petition;

On  Friday, we handed over the petition to the offices of the First Lady and minister of public services with copies also submitted to the speaker of parliament, Prime Minister, Minister of State for Sports, Permanent Secretaries in the office of The President, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Education and Sports, the Chairperson, Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commissioner PES.

Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
State Minister for the Youth and Express F.C Chairperson, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi flagged off the second Wildlife Run at Kitante Primary School in Kampala. USSSPE offered warm up and cool down drills

Here is the nitty gritty of the petition:

There is irrefutable evidence that sport is one of the most lucrative and trending resource on the world platform today. Not only does it serve an entertainment role but also impacts on the all-round physical, mental and moral wellbeing of the people it engages.

It has created vast opportunities to the young people all around the world that have directly and indirectly been employed and to this effect directed their energies into more productive and resourceful work beneficial to their countries.

The former South African president (Nelson Mandela) put it best: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

And the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki Moon), also realised that:

“Sport has become a world language, a common denominator that breaks down all the walls, all the barriers. It is a worldwide industry whose practices can have widespread impact. Most of all, it is a powerful tool for progress and for development.”

The office of the District Sports Office was put in place “To Promote and Develop Physical Activity, Sport and Games” in society. It is thus imperative that the officers therein just like in other respects are not only challenged in their work – by reporting to a more senior and also specialised individual – for direction and best performance; but also structurally motivated through clear growth channels. As a society, we firmly believe that this isn’t the case today!

Brief Background to the existing structures – The problem Structurally, sport is housed under the PES department in the Ministry of Education and Sports – which affects its deserved independence and impact. Operationally, in Local Governments, Sports Officers manage Sports activities and their job Objective is

“To develop and promote Physical Activity, Sports and Games in the District”. They serve under the District Education Officer’s Office whose primary mandate is to coordinate and provide technical and professional guidance to promote education and sports. But realistically, the DEOs are not technically competent to direct development of physical activity, sports and games in the districts – hence a natural bias of their prioritization on educational arrangements.

Furthermore unlike other Officers who get Inspection grant, School Facilitation Grant under Education among others. Sports doesn’t receive any funding from the Centre. The current funding source for sports activities is from locally raised revenue which is too small in most of the districts to cater for sports promotion and development initiatives.

This has crippled the sports and games activities in society and hence the contribution of sports officers rendering them mere position holders with little or insubstantial output.

To make matters worse, Sports Officers in the current structure can only be Unit heads at Local Government without hope of career growth through the The Uganda Society of Sports Science and Physical Education is a National Professional Body that Promotes Excellence in Sports and Exercise Sciences and in Physical Education Through Evidence-Based Practice
system – since they neither qualify for the rest of the senior positions. This lends them unchallenged to a right to growth and promotion in Service.

Last but not least, sports officers’ job descriptions and Specification for Local Government jobs specifically require possession of a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Science or Bachelors of Education Degree with a bias in Physical Education which are typically Science-based qualifications.

They’re thus irregularly remunerated (U4L) compared to colleagues in environment, Physical Planning, Fisheries, et. cetera who are on a U4Sc Scale. Therefore, this petition thus proposes the following three points:

Restructure the Sports Office at Local Government. Provide for the following positions: a Principal Sports Officer, and a
Senior Sports Officer.

The above installations will effectively cover for the proper direction in the sports office and most importantly bridge the growth structure in the system. And with good supervision and monitoring of physical activity, sports and games at that level, the objective of development and promotion of sport and games will then be realistic.

Funding of sports activities to be charged from conditional grants. It is proposed that Funding for district sports office (however little) be obtained from conditional grants just as the inspection grants in the education department. The current funding source off local revenue in most situations is too little and can be misappropriated – which doesn’t help promotion and development of physical activity, sports and games.

Sports Officers be placed on the Science Salary Scale. District Sports officers are scientists in every definition and are currently irregularly remunerated. We will be grateful if this petition is received in the right spirit and given due
and urgent attention.

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY!

Douglas Bamweyana (Mr.) – President

Mr. Nsubuga Mustapha – General Secretary

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Douglas Bamweyana (left) is the president of Uganda Society for  Sports Science and Physical Education (USSSPE)

Uganda Society For Sports Science and Physical Education (USSSPE)  Executive Committee:

  • President: Douglas Bamwenyana
  • Vice President (Sports Science): Steven Oola Kidega
  • Vice President (Sports Medicine): Edwin Mwaka
  • Vice President (Sports Discipline): Robert Mujabi
  • Vice President (Physical Education): David Makombi
  • General Secretary: Mustapha Nsubuga
  • Treasurer: Agnes Baluka Masajja
  • Board Members: Rosette Nakaye, Majidah Nantandah, Yusuf Mwanje, Male Bumbakali, Robert Lukyamuzi and Hilary Godfrey Kimbugwe
  • Students’ Representatives: Ben Mwaniina, Stellah Gwokyaalya

Leave a Reply