President Yoweri Museveni has followed through with his plan and directive to support young, excelling and willing sportsmen and women through the armed forces.
In a letter dated August 31 and written to chairpersons of all local government chairpersons in the districts of Uganda, First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni, re-communicated the directive and requested the "Minister of State for Sports (Hamson Denis Obua) to accordingly coordinate the implementation of this task."
When the President hosted Team Uganda, returning from the Olympics on August 13, at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, he "directed that excelling sportsmen and women with Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) be identified, recruited into Uganda's Armed Forces, and given ample time to train in order to represent the country in different sports disciplines while they simultaneously earn a living (salary) and participate in sports," the letter read.
Stories of the financial difficulties most of Uganda's sports personalities endure are common place and a guarantee for improving their standards of living is a welcome prospect that Obua described as "a great action in the right direction of sports development in Uganda."
What remains is explaining the parameters of what excellence might entail and how the scheme can be protected from the corruption and nepotism that usually eats up government projects.
"Excellence implies that throughout your school days, you have been a good sportsman or woman in a particular discipline warranting further development of your talents for national representation of our country," Obua said before adding that the identification process and procedure will be subjected to "due diligence using the sports structures from school, district, national federation and NCS."
"The enrollment will be purely voluntary and on a case by case basis," Obua continued from Serbia where Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) has fielded a team of athletes at the ISF (International Schools Foundation) U-15 World School Games.
Obua recognises that after UACE, athletes would have options of joining tertiary institutions or going abroad or even pursuing their sports careers with clubs outside the forces; UPDF, Police, Prisons and Uganda Wildlife Authority - all of which have their heads copied in the aforementioned letter.
District Education Officers (DEOs), Security Officers (DSOs) and Chief Administration Officers (CAOs) are also in copy of the letter that Daily Monitor has seen.