The National Council of Sports (NCS) in conjunction with the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) convened a zoom online meeting on Monday 15 June 2020 to discuss the sports standard operating procedures (SOPs). The SOPs have been drafted by a multi stakeholder committee that comprised representatives NCS, UOC, athletes, national federations, media and stadium management. The meeting was attended by 72 participants (F 13, M59)
Mr. William F Blick President UOC/IOC member welcomed members to the online meeting. He stressed the need to come up with sports specific SOPs for the safe resumption of sports in Uganda. He thanked NCS for creating an environment for the possible resumption of sports. He commended the committee for their hard work.
Dr. Donald Rukare NCS Chair and UOC SG thanked the committee that had worked hard to prepare the SoPs. He noted that the chair of the committee Dr. George Galiwango had lost his father and a minute of silence was observed in his honor. Dr. Rukare noted that the meeting had been convened to consult members on the prepared SoPS which would be then submitted to the Honorable Minister of Stare for Sports who in turn would forward them to the Ministry of Health. It is hoped that the SoP would form the basis of a discussion on safe resumption of sports going forward.
Dr. Patrick Ogwel the General Secretary of the NCS introduced the members of the committee that had developed the SOPs and proceeded to outline the key elements of the SoPs. He pointed out that 36 associations had submitted SoPs with 16 yet to submit. The 16 were strongly encouraged to submit their SoPs by Tuesday 16 June 2020. He revealed that sports based on the level of contact and social distancing capability had been classified into low, medium, and high risk.
Following from the presentation of the SoPs a number of questions and comments were made which included:
Would government and /or NCS provide support to associations to enable them procure the personal protection equipment referenced in the SoPs? It was revealed that government and NCS were actively trying to source possible support.
Are the SoPs the general guidelines for associations and how do they relate to the sport specific SoPs? The SoPs presented are general guidelines and each sport is expected to have its own specific SoPs which would be annexes to the general SoP document.
Who will implement and enforce the SoPs? Each association would be expected to take the lead in implementing the SoPs and enforcement would be done by government agencies like NCS, Ministry of Health and Security agencies like the police.
How will consistency in testing equipment be guaranteed? This will be looked into in consultation with the Ministry of Health and associations urged to procure standard approved equipment.
What was the basis for the rating low, medium, and high? The committee consulted widely on this from guidelines from Ministry of Health, WHO and several International Federations.
Can the list of those that have submitted their SoPs be provided so that the 16 who have not submitted are known? The NCS secretariat and SoP committee are available to provide support to draft SoPs were required.
The SoPs must be considered together with the government COVID-19 guidelines in place and these take precedent.
National Associations should explore complimentary support/funding to implement the SoPs from their partners and International Federation where applicable. Government will also look to provide support where it can.
Dr. Rukare thanked the members for the active participation noting that their input would be considered. Mr. William Blick welcomed the SoPs and stated that they provide a basis for the safe resumption of sports. Members were informed that the national sports forum will be held on 26 June 2020. The details will be communicated to members.