New Hockey Pitch Delayed by Further Funding Shortfalls

Audio 2

The construction of a modern synthetic Astroturf hockey pitch at the Lugogo Stadium has hit a snag again with an outstanding shortfall of 52 million shillings to complete the work.

Two years ago the Uganda Hockey Association received a donation of the synthetic turf from Olympic Solidarity and the International Hockey Federation. The Uganda Hockey Association was charged with raising 370 million shillings to level the pitch, build proper drainage and clear taxes for the Astroturf.

The Ministry of Education and Sports successfully negotiated a 111 million-shilling tax relief to help clear the turf and the Uganda Hockey Association raised 42 million shillings from well wishers and partner associations to complete the construction of the pitch.

However Sanyu Sharifah, General Secretary of the Uganda Hockey Association, says the 52 million-shilling shortfall has ground work to a halt. She says the goal of completing construction of the pitch by December this year may not take place if further funds are not availed soon.

Justin Ligyalingi, the acting General Secretary of the National Council of Sports, he has written to the Uganda Hockey Association raising concern over the delay.

State Minister for Sports, Charles Bakabulindi, says he is surprised that the hockey pitch is far from complete. He says his Ministry did its part in securing a tax relief from the Ministry of Finance and promises to revisit the matter to ensure that the construction work is finished.

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Cue out: i# be awakened up.i//

Ugandan hockey players have endured a dormant season last year because of the lack of a national pitch. Training sessions for the national team are held on the Lugogo Cricket Oval and two small tournaments were held at Kings College Budo and Makerere University Business School.