Unveiling Excellence: Dr. Ogwel’s Trailblazing Journey to Reshape Ugandan Sports at NCS

Photo Courtesy of Dr Patrick Bernard Ogwel

In 2019. Dr. Patrick Bernard Ogwel was appointed Secretary-General of the National Council of Sports, Uganda’s sports governing authority, succeeding Nicholas Muramagi.

Ogwel, who had been interim general secretary for nearly a year since the job fell vacant, was stepping into the large boots with experience, having been on the council since 2017.

Little was known that Ogwel’s appointment would be a watershed moment in the country’s sports image, which had previously been overlooked by the government, with little financing available to the sports subsector because it was primarily seen as a leisure activity.

The Ph.D. holder hailing from the Lira District said that his immediate task will be pushing for improving funding to sports and improving governance in the National Council of Sports. He also noted that he will focus on branding and awareness, improvement of sports infrastructure, and partnership with international sports Organizations.

At the time when he took over, the sports subsector was receiving 17 billion shillings from the government, a figure that was not enough to develop sports in the country.

Ogwel embarked on a mission to advocate for greater budgetary allocations, successfully lobbying both the executive and parliament to increase funding substantially.

The sports subsector now receives Shillings 47.8 billion, up from Shillings 17 billion in the previous fiscal years. This has improved sports’ reputation in the nation as a number of athletes have succeeded thanks to National Council of Sports support.

Currently, the sports subsector receives Shillings 47.8 billion up from Shillings 17 billion provided in the previous financial years which has lifted the image of sports in the country as several athletes have gone ahead to excel courtesy of the support they receive from the National Council of Sports.

“The additional 29 billion will strengthen Uganda’s competitiveness in international competitions. It will also strengthen Uganda’s strategy in talent identification.” Ogwel earlier said after the increment of the budget.

On the issue of infrastructure, Ogwel has been pivotal in advocating the accomplishment of the Teryet National High Altitude Training Centre to help the long-distance athletes who have helped Uganda capture the world’s attention with casual great performances.

Just recently, Dr. Ogwel, witnessed a resolution by the government to welcome a proposal from Summa, a Turkish construction company, to construct a modern multipurpose indoor sports complex at Lugogo in Kampala to further develop sports in Uganda.

Ogwel also explained that the current MTN Arena, which is used to host indoor games, will be renovated. “The existing one will be upgraded from the current 750 seats to 3000, it will be refurbished. What we need now is moving forward, the facility in Lugogo was built in 1957 which you all know is now condemned,” Ogwel said.

“What will be affected will be cricket because it is specialized, and therefore we are going to relocate Cricket Kyambogo. Kyambogo will be strictly for cricket and it will be properly managed and we shall develop the facility as a government. We have already had a very good discussion with Kyambogo and we are soon signing an MOU with Kyambogo

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