The national soccer team Uganda Cranes is the pride of everyone in this country thanks to the side’s success in advancing to the last 16 of the African Cup of Nations tournament currently taking place in Egypt’s city of Cairo.
The Cranes broke the 42 year jinx thanks to good leadership on and off the pitch as well as the sense of patriotism that has been demonstrated by the players.
The cranes deserve to be congratulated for the feat considering that we have missed out on the tournament for so many years, something that undermined the confidence of most supporters.
By the time of writing this, Cranes game against Senegal wasn’t played. Whichever way it goes, our boys have paid back the fans and indeed tax payers who have supported them for all those years.
There are many lessons one could pick from a tournament as big as AFCON. One thorough preparation, which is dependent on government’s ability to provide the funding necessary to transport and generally keep the players happy, is essential.
Rumours that some of the Cranes players had protested delays in receiving allowances have surfaced. It emerged that this wasn’t the making of the government which disbursed all the money that FUFA asked for.
Talent is wealth
The Cranes players display of talent is a loud reminder to the government but also parents to invest in sports mentorship as a way to create employment opportunities for the youth of this country. When a young man or woman excel in sport at the international level, they not only earn money for themselves and the country, they also hoist the country’s flag to be seen by potential investors and tourists.
Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria are known world over because of the popularity of their sports personalities.
With more than 10 million children in Uganda still under the age of 10, sports is easily one of the greatest opportunities to create jobs and help the young ones breakthrough to greener pastures in many developed parts of the world.
The government already spends millions of dollars on enticing international tour companies to market Uganda. The government could increase this investment by targeting to develop sports facilities where raw talent can be nurtured and promoted.
In the same breath, we wish to encourage the parents of this country not to bury the talents of
their children. Support from the parents should not stop at allowing the kids to play in school tournaments, but should extend to giving them the moral and financial support to attain better skills in formal sports academies.