I am Godwin Kayangwe, aspiring for the position of President Uganda Rugby Union because sport is a powerful tool in shaping culture well beyond the borders of the field. I consider rugby a sport that best embodies civility, respect, inclusivity, and toughness. The country will see more rugby played under my leadership. Godwin Kayangwe was introduced to rugby in 1993 at Kings College Budo, transitioning through school rugby to club rugby at Black Pirates Rugby Club. Having retired from active playing in 2003 due to work and educational commitments, I got back in 2009 September and went into management of my former club, later going on to manage franchise rugby and the National Team.
I, Godwin Kayangwe, joined the URU EXCOM as a committee member in 2013, rose up to the rank of General Secretary in 2015, as a result, I have learnt to appreciate that;
• Rugby as a cultural influence is absolutely powerful.
• Rugby is religion to many.
• Rugby is a game of the privileged.
• Rugby is an all-inclusive sport.
• Rugby is a sport that has the right amount of competitive aggression and civility
To make a true testament of the above values in rugby, Godwin Kayangwe’s four-year term as President of the URU shall focus on the following priority areas in order to develop the sport and continue to achieve milestones gained in and out country in high performance rugby.
1. Boosting sport in schools and tertiary institutions. We will secure the best possible future for sport in this country by improving the sporting opportunities for young people in schools, tertiary institutions and universities.
• Create a competitive school sports event to raise the profile of competitive sport in schools that should be climaxed with new national competition open to every school, tertiary institution and universities involved.
• Encourage a culture of school sports competition by setting up and publishing competitive school sport league tables and emphasizing the importance of sport in secondary schools.
• Encourage holiday programs through competitions covering contact rugby and tag rugby for the totos
2. Creating support and infrastructure for sporting excellence.
We will ensure that the funding and governance of the sport are geared for continued excellence.
• Aim at securing more funding for sport by merchandising attractive rugby properties to corporate sponsors where they can get value for money. Branding the sport is key in attracting several revenue streams – we all know the finance issue has to be addressed with utmost priority to get all programs running as desired.
• Secure funding for grassroots sports facilities and provision for rugby GIR development, growth of women’s rugby create a development fund that stakeholders can utilize on subject to occasional audit procedures.
• Create a leading organisational structure for sport by bringing together sporting authorities in the country like Ministry of Education and Sports, National Council of Sports, and District Municipalities and District local Government under one roof, while retaining their separate roles, and setting up a cross departmental ministerial working group on sport; and,
• Enable rugby fans to get involved in owning their clubs by reforming the sport governance arrangements to allow co-operative ownership models to be established by supporters.
3. Improving grass roots and community rugby. We will support community sport to help more people to get involved in sports at the grass roots level.
• Support volunteer sports organizers by sweeping away the unnecessary bureaucracy that is deterring volunteers, and work with National Coaches and surrounding community school coaches, World rugby and Rugby Africa coaching system;
• Develop a strong inter university league. A stronger and more potent university league cutting across the country is key for gradually developing proper rugby structure.
• Enable more local sports fields and facilities to be created by engaging local municipalities to plan for sports facilities so local people can create or protect space for sports facilities, and giving members rights to take over or buy existing facilities.
• Fund communities to use sport to promote better health by devolving public health budgets down to community level, enabling sport and exercise to be used as a means to promote better physical activity
• Ensure that championship competitions are held at regional levels and these competitions are used as a gateway for upcountry clubs to get promotion into the premiership competitions
4. Supporting the upcoming high-level sporting events. We will work to secure the best major upcoming sporting events and ensure they deliver lasting benefits for the country as a whole. We will:
• Deliver safe and successful World rugby and Rugby Africa international tournament, and ensure that Uganda qualifies for Olympics and HSBC World Rugby series.
• Support Uganda Rugby Union bids to host rugby Africa tournaments and ensure the successful hosting of the U20 Barthes Cup that has already been awarded to Uganda, April 2019
• Support more high performance rugby tournaments by working with the government and affiliated bodies.
5. Support the governance structures at club and secretariat levels, and ensure that proper strategies are used to develop the sport at all levels.
• Empower clubs to hold annual AGMs where office bearers are elected at club level and matters pertaining proper governance of the clubs are discussed.
• Improve the governance at secretariat level with professionalism and ensure that information is properly communicated to clubs and affiliated bodies in a professional manner. We need an effective secretariat!!!
• Empower a technical team for player selection in all competitions on performance base, where players are chosen from all competitions based on their availability and capabilities.