The Uganda Olympics Committee (UOC) has taken its fundraising drive to the head of the institution that appropriates government funds: the Speaker of Parliament.
The President of UOC, William Blick, together with colleagues on Monday presented a request to fill a UShs 450m shortfall in their UShs 1.7b 2016 Olympics games budget to Speaker Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.
“This is where we need your help,” said Blick adding that, “We wanted a fundraising reception scheduled before 17th July, 2016 when the first group departed for the games.”
This year’s Olympic games are scheduled for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5th – 21st August, 2016. Up to 16 of the expected 21 athletes have qualified for the games.
“This will be Uganda’s biggest team to the Olympics; a 20 percent increase from London in 2012,” said Blick.
UOC Vice President, Ambrose Tashobya, said the team had shortages in funds required for administration, team uniforms and equipment, air tickets and allowances.
“Qualified athletes get their air tickets from International Olympics Committee,” said Tashobya adding that “Because of shortages, we are only giving allowances for only 14 days even though athletes and officials stay out there for longer periods.”
Speaker Kadaga promised to consult with the Ministry of Finance before organizing the fundraising event at which corporate companies will be invited to sponsor various aspects of the team.
At the same event held at the Parliament Building, Blick expressed gratitude to South African Airways, which provided tickets to Uganda’s athletes to fly for trials in Durban, South Africa, at which Jacob Araptan qualified for 3000 metres, steeplechase in Rio.
He said the athletes had since returned to Kapchorwa for high altitude training.