The State Minister for Sports, Peter Ogwang, is considering a supplementary budget request for the Netball Normalisation Committee. This step aims to expedite the establishment of a well-functioning netball federation in Uganda.
Ogwang, who recently flagged off the She Cranes for the test series against Wales and the Vitality Netball Cup in the United Kingdom, emphasised the significance of netball as a priority sport in the country, despite the existing leadership instability.
He stated, “We want to reiterate that netball is our priority sport, and we will do whatever it takes to elevate it as a priority game, both internationally, nationally, regionally, and at the school level.” The Uganda Netball Federation Executive Committee, led by Sarah Babirye Kityo (president), had previously received a call for resignation from the World Netball Organisation.
This action followed the National Council of Sports (NCS) revoking the UNF’s registration certificate due to persistent governance issues and non-compliance with Ugandan laws. Consequently, a Normalization Committee, chaired by Moses Mwase, was instituted to manage netball activities until fair elections can be conducted to form a new executive committee for the Federation.
However, Ogwang highlighted that the committee has encountered various challenges, primarily financial constraints. The existing budget for the Netball Federation did not account for the current transitional phase, which demands timely action and therefore necessitates additional financial resources.
Notably, in the 2023/204 budget release, the Netball Federation faced a downgrade from category 1 to category 2 in the federation classification, resulting in reduced funding to 300 million shillings. This reduction was a response to financial accountability concerns raised during an audit by the National Council of Sports. The She Cranes, Uganda’s national netball team, has consistently achieved commendable results on both continental and global platforms.
However, financial limitations or administrative challenges have occasionally hindered their progress. Mwase previously explained to URN in November that the Normalisation Committee faced difficulties taking the team to the 2023 African Netball Championship due to sudden management changes. He noted the challenges in mobilising the team on short notice amidst the ongoing administrative turmoil, leading to their inability to participate in the championship.