KAMPALA. Ugandan Olympic Committee (UOC) chairman William Blick, was among nine new International Olympic Committee (IOC) members elected Tuesday during the 133rd session in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Argentina is also hosting the Youth Olympics, where Uganda has three athletics representatives Esther Yego Chekwemoi, Sara Chelangat and Oscar Chelimo plus rower Grace Ndagire, weightlifter Hamdan Lutaaya and swimming official Max Kanyerezi.
Blick becomes the second Ugandan to serve at this level after the late Francis Nyangweso, who served as UOC president between 1981 and 2009.
Blick’s appointment was greeted with excitement on social media platforms as his colleagues at UOC, journalists, sports personalities, friends and politicians congratulated him on the achievement.
“This is indeed a great honour and an opportunity to contribute to making this world a better place using sports as a platform,” Blick, who will now be involved in determining key IOC programs, tweeted. In one of the messages that said with him in such office, better days lie ahead for sports in Uganda, Blick replied that “a lot of team work is needed”. According to UOC legal advisor and Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) general secretary Moses Mwase, Blick’s appointment is an endorsement of UOC’s works over the last five years.
“If you listen to the speech appointing William, it is a vote of confidence and recognition of the work done by UOC under his leadership,” Mwase said.
UOC has ensured participation of athletes at Olympics 2016, Commonwealth Games 2014 and 2018 plus All-Africa Games 2015, among other competitions.
Uganda won two bronze in 2015 and five medals at each of the aforementioned Commonwealth Games.
Blick’s tenure has also seen mass capacity building with over 2000 participants taking on Advanced Sports Management (ASMC) and Sports Administrator (SAC) courses.
Commissions like Sport and Environment, Legal, Government and Stakeholders, Sport for All among others have made UOC a vibrant and relevant sports bodies.
“For Uganda, it puts us in the international limelight because not every country has the opportunity to serve at this level. It also makes us part of the decision making process at the UOC,” Mwase said.
The IOC members are representatives of the IOC in their respective countries, and not their country’s delegate within the IOC as stated in the Olympic Charter.
“Members of the IOC represent and promote the interests of the IOC and of the Olympic Movement in their countries and in the organisations of the Olympic Movement in which they serve.”
Blick, who served as president of the Uganda Rugby Union before joining UOC in 2013, is also the current president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Zone V, a member of the ANOCA Games coordination commission and a member of the IOC marketing commission.