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NCS ISSUES GUIDELINES FOR THE RESUMPTION OF SPORTS
After a period of seven months of suspended sports activity in Uganda, the President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 20th September 2020, in his Nation's address on COVID-19 eased down on the lockdown restrictions and allowed for the resumption of sports in Uganda.
The President lifted restrictions on outdoor sports activities and maintained the ban on indoor activities. Equally testing of players/athletes was made mandatory, with testing to take place 72 hours before the sports activity/game with a repeat test after 14 days.
Accordingly, National Council of Sports on Friday, 25th September 2020 convened a meeting National Sports Federations/Associations to offer guidance on the Resumption of Sports Activities in Uganda.
Ms. Grace Abalo, a Council Member of NCS, representing the Commissioner of Physical Education and Sports called upon members to undertake an in-depth assessment of their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats amidst the pandemic in order to forge a way forward given the circumstances. She retaliated that Government will offer no additional resources over and above the already approved sports budget to facilitate the resumption of sports.
The Assistant General Secretary-Technical, Mr. David Katende presented a systematic categorization of sports according to location of competition, Risk rating, Nature of competition venue and recommendation therein.
It was observed that many of the sports can be played both indoors or outdoors depending on the facilities available to the organizers.
NCS should assess the readiness of Federations/Associations in terms of facilities, logistics and human resource to facilitate the resumption of sports.
Going forward National Sports Associations will have to fulfil the following guidelines in holding sports activities to ensure safety against COVID-19:
1. National Sports Associations/Federations will be required to prepare and submit a schedule of planned activities and venues to be used with priority to National Teams engagements
2. Each sports activity to be organized, shall be cleared on its own merit
3. National Sports Association/Federation shall appoint a medical personnel who shall work in liaison with Ministry of Health on all COVID-19 related matters
4. There shall be a focal point person appointed or designated by the Federation/Association to act as a liaison between NCS and the federation on all sports related matters
5. Federations/Associations shall seek relevant clearances from the organs of government for the activities to take place
6. Federations/Associations shall notify NCS of the venue to be used, number of athletes and officials including media prior to the event
7. Provide proof of testing of players and officials prior to the activities
8. Events to be organized are those where NCS has been notified and clearance obtained
9. National Teams to be encamped in one place to avoid unnecessary interaction with outsiders
10. Only players and accredited officials to be allowed at the events
11. PPE must be available and in place
12. NCS shall constitute a team of persons at assess the readiness and compliance of National Sports Federations for resumption of sports activities
A proposed Implementation Plan below was equally adopted as a roadmap on guide the process:
1. Meeting with National Sports Associations/Federation on 25th September 2020
2. Submission of respective federation planned activities and protocols by National Sports Federations by 02nd October 2020
3. Verification and approval of federation activities and protocols to be undertaken by NCS by 09th October 2020
4. Monitoring for compliance of federations to be undertaken by NCS by 19th October 2020