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Netball Team Needs UGX 2Bn for World Cup :: Uganda Radionetwork

Netball Team Needs UGX 2Bn for World Cup

The Netball World Cup, slated for July 12th-21st this year, will take place in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
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The President of the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF), Susan Anek says they have requested government to release shillings 2.1 billion for the upcoming 2019 World Cup.

Uganda will be one of the teams to participate in the Netball World Cup slated for July 12th-21st in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  Uganda is pooled alongside Scotland, Samoa and hosts England in Group D.

Anek told Uganda Radio Network that although the association had initially requested for 3.5 billion from the government for the World Cup, the body has slashed the budget to shillings 2.1 billion.    

Government finances national teams including netball to participate in qualifiers and international games like the World Cup whenever national teams qualify. There are currently 48 national sports associations including Netball, Football, basketball, Woodball, and Boxing among others.  

Government through the National Council of Sports (NCS) releases funds to associations annually. In the 2018/2019 financial year, NCS has been allocated shillings 17.4 billion. Netball is among the eight priority sports considered by government, with most of them receiving between shillings 500 million to 1.5 billion a year.   

Netball receives shillings 1 billion annually. With an international event like the Netball World Cup, Anek says that the 1 billion can only be spent on one event.       

She however notes that due to other pressing needs of other national sports associations, shillings 1.2 billion would be adequate for Uganda's netball team to participate in the World Cup.      

//Cue in: “Five hundred million…    

Cue out:… one is ok.“//      

However, Anek is concerned that government has delayed to release money in the last quarter- that is for the months of April, May and June and yet there are events that must be undertaken in preparation for major events.  

She says that the national team is supposed to have trainings and travel to Liverpool early enough for the World Cup.            

At the moment, the She Cranes have not secured air tickets and accommodation funds for the World Cup.  Anek is however optimistic that government will release the funds.

//Cue in: “Like some of…..      

Cue out:…will be fine.”//      

However, the World Cup budget has attracted debate among delegates, ever since Anek and her leadership announced that the event would require up to shillings 3.5 billion during the annual general meeting held this February.

The Uganda Netball Federation told delegates that it would need shillings 3.5 billion for air tickets, visa fees and accommodation for  25 people  including five education ministry officials, She Cranes and technical staff to the World Cup.  

The shillings 3.5 billion budget would include sending She Cranes for buildup games in Malawi, Jamaica and Australia in the months of April, May and June and also allowances for the team. However, the delegates rejected the budget and demanded for further scrutiny and transparency. Most claimed that they had not been consulted on the budget.    

Anek has now slashed the budget to shillings 2 billion, with the hope of getting at least shillings 1.2 billion so that the team can travel to Liverpool.    

Meanwhile, during the first National Sports Association/Federation Forum meeting held this week, the Acting General Secretary of National Council of Sports (NCS), Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel informed associations that the government is yet to release funds for the last quarter. He however encourages association executive committees to mobilise resources from other sources.      

In the same meeting, the minister of state for sports, Charles Bakkabulindi warned associations against submitting their budget requests at the last minute. He urged the leaders to submit annual work plans that can fit in the budget of the National Council of Sports.       

//Cue in: “Please all of….        

Cue out:…is my budget.”      

However, Anek insisted that the Netball federation submitted its budget to NCS after She Cranes qualified for the 2019 World Cup Games last August. 

//Cue in: “Honourable minister you…    

Cue out: overnight and walk.”//

In the 2015 Netball World Cup held in  Australia, the team reportedly received shillings 540 million out of a total of shillings 1.8 billion it had requested from government. The funding shortfall resulted in the team lacking bottled water and needed  bailout for their air tickets to return home. 

Despite the funding shortfall, the national team emerged 8th in the world and that tournament resulted in government and other groups including Parliament giving more attention and financial support to netball. Uganda is currently ranked 7th in the world. 

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