By Douglas Mazune
JACK Wavamunno was last weekend elected Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) president.
While on the campaign trail he promised to rehabilitate the sport and later on take it to the next level. Soon after elections he told New Vision that he would restore normalcy in eight months.
There are eight challenges that await Wavamunno as he embarks on his new role.
Restoring harmony with stakeholders
While Wavamunno will prioritize restoration of harmony between the federation and competitors, he might want to know that other stakeholders like marshals, safety officials and aggrieved clubs like Uganda Motor Club have to be attended to.
He must create harmony with all internal stakeholders to enable FMU work with a shared vision and mission.
Rebuilding the collapsing image of the sport
Consistent controversies ranging from the Festino fans riot to the controversial ban of top drivers Duncan Mubiru, Nasser Mutebi, John Burrows and Geoffrey Nsamba left the image of the sport dented.
Change of leadership has created anticipation for improvement on the image but a deliberate effort should be made to address issues that caused the sport’s image to suffer and FMU should be seen, by internal and external stakeholders, to have been rebuilt.
Uganda Motorsport Marshals Association (UMMA) should ideally offer all solutions in this area but they are not in full control. Clubs are allowed to train and deploy their own marshals to cut costs.
UMMA should be entrusted with the duty to train marshals, recommend them to FMU for certification and monitor their performance.
Having an impartial UMMA (the equivalent of referees association in other games) whose responsibility is marshaling (both time and safety) would make capacity building easier.
This would consequently minimize complaints about incompetent or even outright partisan time marshals.
Insufficient electronic timing equipment
Competent marshals with a high degree of integrity will not do much without adequate equipment.
Three sets of the electronic timing system imported in 2012 tremendously reduced complaints regarding erroneous timing.
Three sets are insufficient, so there is need to add three more to cover at least six competitive sections. They have to be purchased to minimize disputes which have previously hurt the image of the sport.
There is need to pay attention to enlightening officials and competitors on the sporting code and national competition rules among other issues.
When officials and competitors understand and interpret the rules correctly, disputes would be avoided. Wavamunno should eliminate the failure to interpret regulations.
Mismanagement of commercial success
Wavamunno finds a sport that is grappling with how to manage its commercial success.
Sprint races which attract at least 8,000 spectators on a bad day have instead turned out to be a source of misunderstandings between competitors, clubs and the federation.
FMU should convert the massive spectator turnout at events into added revenue.
This can be done through innovative means like venue advertising or branding, product exhibition and other commercial rights.
Detonate ‘time bomb’ in the FMU leadership structure
The new FMU structure is a ‘time bomb’ waiting to explode.
The creation of a senate above the FMU management committee/ executive would not have been a bad idea but its functions put the two organs on a collision course.
Ideally, the senate should play an advisory role but this one is tasked with the role of reviewing all programmes of the federation and offer advice or recommendations.
The senate is even supposed to submit to the general assembly a report on its activities.
The selection of delegates to the assembly is also wanting. Clubs should elect delegates to the FMU assembly to prevent cases where a club sent a father, wife, son and uncle as delegates.
Other clubs picked junior members who would vote as instructed. This affects the quality of delegates as regards deliberations.
The 15 clubs are unnecessarily and they should be downsized.
Some of these clubs were formed to be allocated money-minting sprints and create votes as well. Some service clubs should be merged.
Inactive clubs whose sporting disciplines are yet to take off should come to life or else they get de-affiliated in the meantime.
FMU devise other means of reducing the number of club. Imagine motocross has just two club that organise eight national championship races a year.