National Council of Sports embarked on the Tour of the Eastern and Northern regions of Uganda as part of the revitalization of District sports Councils. The Five day outreach had members of the National Council of Sports Council/Board headed by Mr. Ambrose Tashobya and staff led by Dr. Patrick Ogwel visit 7 sub-regions to inspect the state of sports stadiums/grounds in the region and convene meetings with District Leaders including RDCs, CAOs, LCV, DSO, DEOS and District Sports Officers of 60 Districts from the 27th to 31st March 2023.

Starting off in the Northern Region, the tour had NCS Leaders traverse the Acholi sub-region to among other things conduct fact finding on the state of sports stadiums/grounds in the region-including Pece Memorial Stadium, Booma Grounds and Kaunda Grounds and later held consultative meeting with District leaders and sports officers of Gulu, Nwoya, Omoro, Amuru, Pader, Agago and Kitgum. NCS finds it very important to conduct District Sports Outreaches as some of the ways to throw the sports new wider in order to fulfill its mandate.

In the Lango sub-region, the NCS team held an interactive meeting with local government leaders and sports officers and extended sports equipment to 12 districts in the region. Thereafter inspected Akii Bua Stadium- one of the prioritized stadia earmarked for rehabilitation by the government of Uganda. The field visits are conducted in the districts to provide first hand feedback on what is going on in the districts, but at the same time address concerns outlined.

The NCS Council Chairperson, Mr. Ambrose Tashobya urged leaders for the integrations of sports infrastructure in Urban planning to address youth demographics needs and the emerging sports talents. Accordingly, it is important to preserve existing sports grounds/land.

While in Teso sub-region, Soroti Sports Stadium and Oligoi Stadium were visited and later proceeded to hold meetings with district leaders of Soroti, Kumi, Bukedea, Ngora, Serere, Pallisa and Katakwi. It is Council’s belief that the revitalization, establishment and functionalization of District Sports Councils can go a long way to revamp the practice, the development and transformation of sports in the districts. This process begins with district visits.

The Team also made a courtesy visit to Soroti University and held extensive discussions with the Vice Chancellor Prof. Robert Ikoja who presented magnificent plans the University has for sports development.

Thereafter, the NCS team made visit to the High Altitude Training Centre in Teryet ahead of its commissioning by the President of Uganda, H.E Kaguta Museveni. Members were impressed with the progress on the facility that has Phase 1 nearing completion with the running and jogging tracks and hostel complete, the lighting at 95%.

The tour concluded in the Gishu, Bukedi and Busoga sub-regions where sports equipment was extended to district sports leaders to enhance community sports. The stadiums visited in the above sub-regions included Mbale Stadium, King George VII Stadium in Tororo, Kakindu Stadium and Abel Dhaira Stadium.

NCS supports community sports programs through donation of sports equipment for use in community competitions. NCS gave out over 1700 Netballs, Footballs and Volleyball to leaders of 60 districts.

NCS recognizes the pivotal role played by District local governments as key stakeholders in the development of community/grassroots sports development. Council therefore does not only find it appropriate but very important to conduct NCS district sports outreaches as one of the ways/strategies to throw the sports net wider as it tries to fulfill its mandate.

NCS also believes that its functional structure cannot be complete without the existence of functional District Sports Councils in the country. Through the district sports outreach visits, NCS is able to capture and share challenges encountered in the at the local/community/grassroots level and jointly come up with workable strategies/interventions on how such prevailing hindrances can be addressed.

The District Sports Councils enable collectively review the status quo of sports in the districts and jointly help in laying new strategies/chart a new way forward for grassroots sports development as well as to revive the district sports councils.