By Michael Nsubuga
PRIME Minister Amama Mbabazi has assured the nation that the promised high altitude training centre that President Museveni promised is on course despite inactivity at the site at the moment.
Mbabazi was speaking to guests who welcomed Stephen Kiprotich at State House Entebbe yesterday after a luncheon in honour of the team that represented the country at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Russia.
This was after the marathoner inquired why the proposed national high altitude training center had failed to take off as promised last year.
Hundreds lined along Entebbe Road to catch a glimpse of their hero as he made his way to State House. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
Kiprotich who was travelling in a limousine arrives at State House. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
“Let the honorable minister tell us where the construction of the site has reached instead of promising all the time. I prefer action and that is why I didn’t promise much when we were leaving and I have been telling my colleagues that action speaks louder than words.” Kiprotich said.
“I want to assure Kiprotich that the money for the high altitude training center is in the budget so this is not a promise or a pledge but it is at the level of action,” Mbabazi assured Kiprotich.
Mbabazi said him and the minister of education and sports were going to take to cabinet a proposal to name the high attitude training center that is going to be constructed; Kiprotich High Attitude Training Centre so that the name becomes permanent in the sports fraternity.
The Prime Minister who had stood in for the president said he had stepped in for him briefly and will have his (Museveni) say on August 23.
Mbabazi moved to assure Kiprotich and the athletics fraternity on the future of the national high altitude training centre. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
Kiprotich shares a light moment with his mother during the ceremony. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
“Talking about performance I was proud to be Ugandan when I saw Kiprotich entering majestically, waving to the crowd. It was like he was informing the whole world that he had arrived and I felt like: there goes a true Ugandan; Calm, confident and balanced and in command.
“I have not seen an athlete like this one. After 26 miles you could see how strong he was and actually I thought he could go for another ten kilometers, congratulations for making us proud,” Mbabazi remarked.
Mbabazi said Kiprotich had become a house hold name following his exploits at the Olympics where he gave the country greater honour. He encouraged those who did not come back with medals not to lose hope but continue striving to get to the top.
“In science and discovery there is a saying that every time you fail in something you’re getting closer to making it so don’t give up keep trying and one day you will also make it,” Mbabazi said.
Athletes who were part of Team Uganda in Moscow dig in. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
The athletes pose for a group photo with Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. Photo by Michael Nsubuga
Kiprotich called on government to ensure the country gets more representation in future in order to increase chances of winning more medals.
“The population of Uganda is about 40 million but look at our team, I should have been speaking with at least 200 athletes here. When you look at other countries they send many athletes and I keep wondering why we always send a small team. I think this our weakness,”
“If we could finish 12th with 11 athletes who knows what we could have achieved with more otherwise I thank all of you for welcoming us,” Kiprotich said.
Minister of education and sports Jessica Alupo, commissioner for sports Omara Apita and a delegation from Kapchwora that included Kiprotich’s mum were among the delegation at State House.