Kampala, (UG): In a significant stride towards enhancing the sports landscape in Uganda, the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) successfully concluded a week-long capacity-building course, certifying more than 500 participants as qualified coaches, referees, reporters, and first aid specialists on December 15, 2023
The participants, hailing from Kibuli Secondary School, Ntare School in Mbarara, and Lira Town College, completed the beginners’ level of their respective sports and disciplines.
USSSA President Justus Mugisha, speaking at the closing ceremony held at Kibuli, emphasized the importance of qualified coaches in elevating the country’s sports performance on regional, continental, and global platforms.
Mugisha expressed optimism that the newfound expertise would lead to improved competition standards.
“Going forward, it is going to be a prerequisite that to take part in our competitions, you must have these young trainees embedded in the technical teams of schools,” Mugisha stated.
The Chief guest, Rev. Canon Dr Duncans Mugumya, who is Commissioner of Physical Education and Sports in the Ministry of Education and Sports, encouraged the participants to leverage the knowledge they have gained for the betterment of Ugandan sports.
Highlighting a critical challenge in refereeing, Mugisha acknowledged the dearth of qualified referees in the country. He expressed hope that with 13-year-olds obtaining refereeing certificates through this training, Uganda could see a surge in skilled referees, addressing a longstanding issue.
Nickitah Bukenya from Entebbe Parents’ School, an enthusiastic learner in refereeing, expressed her aspirations. “I hope to get even more opportunities in school so I can grow this career.” She said.
In a progressive move, USSSA introduced a first aid and injury prevention course during the training.
Christine Nabwire, a teacher from Luweero with experience in athletics officiating, emphasized the importance of educating coaches on injury prevention and shared insights gained on dealing with various injuries.
The training, set to continue in January 2024, marks a pivotal step towards nurturing young talent, fostering qualified professionals, and ultimately raising the bar for sports excellence in Uganda.
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