OPINION: No place for amateur sports in the new normal

The announcement by the president for the resumption of sports came as great news but with a lot of regulations.

For a very long time, Sports has been more or less a by the way for most of the 40M Ugandans, a few people have taken it as a career that puts daily food on their table.

However, if the top (government) still thinks about Sports as a P.E activity then this industry will never progress into professional sports.

This attitude unfortunately affected sports federations as well since they majorly focus on national teams since that is what gets the government interested.

Our club structures have remained mostly amateur; most clubs are run on goodwill from a group of individuals.

For example, traditional cricket clubs are only surviving on resources from former players to stay alive.

The fault lies mostly with clubs that have failed to formalize their structures in order to attract sponsors.

The Uganda Cricket Association has also let this attitude thrive with limited training opportunities for club administrators on how to grow and develop their clubs.

Survival in the new normal is now going to be difficult for amateur clubs especially when it comes to managing costs.

I remember a time when on some given Sundays we would choose to forego lunch so that we just appear for the fixture.

Imagine what will happen now that we are required to add extras such as player testing, sanitizer, masks, each player with their own equipment, and social distance in transportation.

Our clubs pull resources on match days to make sure they can make it for a game, you will find clubs sharing means of transport and equipment.

In the new normal these are all things of the past for the foreseeable future.

The difficult question for clubs now is, Will.the game remains attractive given what they have to go through?!

The association needs to start showing more concern for clubs and help them develop structures.

They look after players for most of the year before they are summoned for national duty therefore their survival is critical to the cricket ecosystem.

Clubs have to move from being amateur and become semi-pro and eventually professional.

The clubs we watch on TV every weekend can afford to do these things because they are run as businesses and also cushioned against such hazards by their home association.

The growth of the game can’t take off without a vibrant club structure.

The financial burden on club owners needs to be eased if they are to become self-sustaining.

For now, there is very little interest from clubs as regards to returning to the field of play because it’s no longer attractive enough to savor the game.

By Musali Denis.

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