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How to clear the Lugogo gym crisis

By James Bakama

Added 13th August 2018 07:49 AM

So, for as long as there are clients in the gym, the boxers have no business in Lugogo.

How to clear the Lugogo gym crisis

So, for as long as there are clients in the gym, the boxers have no business in Lugogo.

I was recently surprised to find the national boxing team training in a small corner of the Lugogo national hockey ground.

Not that boxers don't train outdoors. You have drills like roadwork and field runs. I, however, realised there was problem when the boxers started sparring and shadow boxing.

I particularly found this disturbing because the Lugogo gym is supposed to be the national team's designated training area.

But as things turnout, National Council of Sports- the custodians of the gym have rented it out to a private fitness firm.

So, for as long as there are clients in the gym, the boxers have no business in Lugogo.

I think that is wrong. UBF should have been involved in the drawing of the tenancy agreement with at least two hours a day granted to the sport.

That is not much considering that out of an entire year, boxer at most use the gym for three months.

Boxing has even more ground to claim special rights over the facility. It was in 2007 expanded by then Uganda Boxing Federation president Roger Ddungu.

But this might all sound petty 60 years into the existence of this gym.

By the time the facility was completed, there were only a handful of sports bodies. It is for that reason that boxing must have got exclusive rights.

The story is different today. There are over 50 sports bodies under NCS.

Training methods have also greatly changed with gym work emerging as a crucial component of conditioning. This in effect means pressure on NCS from varying federations over the facility.

Then you also have the general public. There is an ever growing number of none athletes flooding the gym to shape up.

I must say that say that Diamond Bricks who runs the gym has done a great job keeping both the sports fraternity and general public in shape.

But of course this has all been at the expense of boxing. Imagine being denied access to your home.

There can however be a way past all this. With a sh34b budget, NCS today has the ability to come up with a much better arrangement that would leave all stakeholders happy.

NCS could construct a multiple-gym storied building in the same location.

One of these gyms could then be specifically for boxing. NCS would from the other gyms then make loads of money in rent.

As for UBF, isn't it time it also started thinking beyond Lugogo? Why not establish your own home?

When boxing was at its peak in the 1960s and 70s training camps were never restricted to Lugogo. They rotated between Lugogo, Nsamizi and a high altitude base in Mubuku.

So with some positive thinking and of course action from both NCS and UBF what seems as a big crisis could actually be a huge opportunity.


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