Rukare, who serves as chairman National Council of Sports and president Uganda Olympic Committee, made his leadership mark through swimming in the early 2000s and still continues to serve the sport albeit mostly internationally now.
On Saturday, he was nominated alongside three others; his mentor Dr. Sam Ramsamy of South Africa, Senegal’s Mohammed Diop and Moroccan Zouheir el Moufti – as candidates from Africa to join the Burea – that also has representatives from Asia, the Americas, Ocenia and Europe – as members. Ramsamy was also elected as the body’s first vice president.
“I am humbled and honored to be re- elected,” Rukare, who was returning to the Bureau, which he joined in 2014 under the presidency of Dr. Julio Maglione from Uruguay.
“I look forward together with my colleagues to working even harder to advance aquatics in Africa and the world,” he added after the election in which Maglione (president from 2009) was replaced by his former vice president from Qatar Husain Al Musallam for the term 2021-2025.
Mwase to Reforms
For Uganda’s case, Rukare’s election was compounded by the appointment of current Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) president Moses Mwase, previously on Fina’s legal committee, to the Fina Reforms Committee, which is mandated to see through some of the new ideas the new president has for aquatics.
Al Musallam, a former international swimmer and airline pilot, quickly nominated USA’s Brent Nowicki as executive director to oversee the day to day running of the federation.He also approved the raise of prize money for athletes in 2021 by a value of $2.4 million (over Shs9bn), promised to take no salary or allowances from Fina and went on to cut per diems of Bureau members by half in a bid to cut on administrative expenses and improve on athletes’ welfare.
Insidethegames.biz reported that Fina spent over $31m on administration in the last four years, a sizable difference from the $24m spent on development funding.
Federations like USF could apply for up to $25,000 (about Shs95m) per year from Fina but are now likely staring at an increase.
Fina also approved a Memorandum of Understanding with four universities for a programme of education and training for swimmers that will run alongside current programmes, in which swimmers almost always had to choose between the pool and their studies.
The body also ratified by-laws that will be used to administer elections for the athletes commission at the World Championships in Fukuoka in May 2022.
Twenty active athletes will be elected, by their peers to this committee, unlike in the past where they were appointed. Committee members will then select, among themselves, delegates to the Fina Congress and Bureau meetings, where they will have a vote to advance athletes’ voices.