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The Uganda Blind Sport Association (UBSA)

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The Uganda Blind Sport Association (UBSA)

The Uganda Blind Sport Association (UBSA) strives to make sport more inclusive for the visually impaired, even while facing many challenges.

The Uganda Blind Sports Association (UBSA) is a national organization charged with sports for people with visual impairments. It is affiliated to and a member of Uganda Paralympic Committee.

Uganda Blind Sport Association is a disabled motivated organization, focused on blind and visually impaired persons. We have also included the people living with albinism and individuals in the deaf/blind categories as part of our sports categories as well.

Challenges

Working in the sport and disability landscape is always challenging, but the top three challenges faced by the UBSA are:

  1. Scarcity of funding
  2. Shortage of playing equipment and facilities
  3. Shortage of technically qualified like coaches, referees, classifiers, guides and administrators.

To overcome the funding scarcity, UBSA has organized community fundraising events and social media fundraising campaigns. Though these have been fairly successful, more funds are required to make a lasting and impactful change.

Further, to fulfil our need to equipment, we have adopted to use locally made playing equipment, which is made from PVC pipes, wood, rubber and other such materials. This equipment is used to play games such as goalball, athletics and showdown.

As UBSA, we have also carried out clinics and workshops in different regions of the country aimed at training officials, technical personals and administrators. We use learning materials from the internet, accessing the websites of other blind sport organizations and watching clips on YouTube.  

Existing policies and the future opportunities

Most of the existing policies that are enacted are good, but the problem lies in implementation – a gap remains between policy development and on-ground implementation.

To aid in the wholistic development of disabled persons, there should be a 10% policy on inclusion on all government procurements. Further, digital and information communication technologies must be harnessed by persons with disabilities, to grow their own knowledge and fit their needs. Especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as more things have moved online, the needs of persons with disabilities in the online realm need to be considered.

An easy way to encourage the development of disabled sports would be to give tax exemptions on all sports equipment for sports federation which focus on disabled sports. Further, we should look towards a future where sports can become and employment venture for persons with disabilities – this will also entail a reduction in unemployment levels among persons with disabilities.

Jagwe Muzafaru is the National Coordinator at UBSA. 

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]

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Article type

News

Author

Uganda Blind Sport Association

Published

Sunday, November 22, 2020 - 18:59

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