Legislators have asked government to allocate more funds to Paralympics and consider constructing a special sports arena for the sub-sector.
Parliament was on Wednesday debating a motion to honour David Emong, who won gold at the World Para Athletics Championships 2017 in London.
Hon. Anthony Okello, (Kioga County), who moved the motion, said that the accomplishment and triumphs of Emong presented a unique opportunity for national pride.
“Our sole representative put Uganda on the world map at the Para Athletics Championship in London. He presented a rare and unique platform for national pride, unity, patriotism and an inspiration to Uganda’s youth,” said Hon. Okello.
In the race, Emong defeated the defending champion, Nouioua Samir of Algeria.
The World Para Athletics Championship attracts athletes with physical and mental disabilities in over 90 countries.
Emong, the national record holder, was born in September 1990 in Amolatar District. He participated in the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011 and won bronze in the 1,500 metre race. He came fourth in 2012 in London. In 2015, in Brazzaville, Congo and Rio Paralympics in Brazil 2016, Emong won silver.
Hon. Helen Asamo (NRM, PWDs), while seconding the motion, said that the athlete proved that disability is not inability.
“Emong just proved that if you want something, you cannot fail to get it. He showed that despite having a disability, he was able to bring home gold,” she said.
Asamo added that during budgeting, government should look at the needs of children with disability and not simply their numbers. She said that although everyone can access schools under UPE, the schools cannot afford footballs for the blind or play areas for PWDs.
Hon. Margaret Baba Diri (NRM, Koboko) in the same spirit praised the gold medalist. She was dismayed to learn that out of six finalists, only one contestant was able to travel for the games due to shortage of funds.
She said the government should look at financing Paralympics sports personalities because they keep flying Uganda’s flag high in all fields.
The Minister of State for Higher Education, Hon. Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo said government was aware and was considering the promises made to various sports personalities.
“Government is committed to fulfilling all its promises and pledges towards sports. The sports arena in Kapchorwa is underway and renovations of regional stadiums are also in the process as way of supporting talent,” he said.