The Africa cup of nations in motorcycling a.k.a. FIMA MOAN (FIM-Africa Motocross of African Nations) is at fever pitch as we move into the host week. The event to take place at Uganda Motorsport Arena in Busiika, Luwero district has all but drained the organizers and hosts with a budget in excess of USD 150,000, invested in the world standard upgrading of the track, International officials travels and accommodation, officials and environmental FIM seminars, International
medical facilities and air ambulance, safety and marshalling, Insurance, permit fees and FIM licenses etc. Despite that, the mood at FMU has not been put down and with a partner like the venue proprietors, fans and visiting competitors can rest assured of an event like never seen in Uganda before.
With Uganda celebrating the 50th Independence Anniversary, this would have been the opportune time for government to chip in big and help offset a budget quantifiable in UgShs. 476 million, yet the wait and lobbing still goes on a week to the event hoping for a “Kiptrotich miracle” to hit the federation. All the same that cannot stop the event from taking place, thanks to volunteers in FMU and the fraternity plus well wishers such as Total Uganda Ltd that has bought the trophies and contributed towards the fuel. Farm and Engineering industries limited (FEIL) has lent a hand in track upgrade while other partners like UAP, IAA, Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Silver Springs Hotel et al have discounted accommodation, Insurance cover, medical etc.
This event having come out of 10years of lobbying without success, it is only more satisfying that FMU finally got its organizing rights in the National 50th independence year. It will be dedicated to the country’s celebrations and team Uganda is doing intensive training and strategy formulation to win this on our tuff.
Team Zambia and Zimbabwe confirm entries
Team Zambia has so far confirmed entry of 12 riders in the 50cc/65 cc and 85 cc categories of the FIMA MXOAN , the riders will have their bikes driven up through Tanzania and Mutukula border while the team of riders and support will fly to Uganda on the 23/08/2012 , Zambia has shown alot of strength in the lower classes and these will face off against team's Uganda , Kenya , and the powerhouse Zimbabwe .
Strong commitment from Team Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwean Team has shown a lot of commitment to the FIMA MOAN race by fronting a large number of competitors.They have registered 17 entries including a lady who will also be arriving on the 23/08/2012 to take on the big challenge , they are expected to put up a good fight against the junior classes which will reduce Ugandan's chances of taking the FIMA MXOAN cup of nations , they will also be driving their bikes upwards for this great race .
Team Kenya to watch out for
Team Motocross Kenya is one to look out for during this race as they have fronted the largest international team with a minimum of 22 riders expected to take on the various classes with a big force, team Uganda’s weaknesses in the MX 85cc , MX2 and MX 125 will be Kenya's strong point so our riders in these classes have to make extra effort and use home advantage to spur their possibility of winning the African cup .
Team Ivory Coast has also put in a last gasp entry with up to 10 riders hoping to travel south to Uganda while South Africa despite several challenges communicated, will still send in a few riders to take the challenge. Tanzania too is on board for an event that will shake Uganda’s statistical house with a record entry in just a few days and the Ministry of tourism should be working out a way to market destination Pearl of Africa at this stage.
Chris Prinsloo drops out of Uganda team after major injury
It’s sad to say that Christopher Prinsloo who was scheduled to take part as a team rider in the MX125 class will not be able to , Chris sustained a severe compound fracture which left his bone shattered at the recent MX5 at Garuga Extreme Park . We wish him a quick recovery and pray to see him once again taking on international motocross titans like before.
Sponsorship lacuna, strong partners
The search for sponsorship to this event has been like a tap-dance story swinging from one end of the floor to the other in search for a more reliable and flowing partner. Hearts have been broken but the spirit not dampened. And FMU's biggest motivation has been on a reliance on a big fan base as the bargaining tool that would convince possible partners for a strong relationship. The days have moved fast and we are drawing ever so near to the appointed date and still there's a big financial gap to cover the enormous budget.
Total Uganda has injected a whooping 21 million UGX into the FIMA MXOAN race, the platinum sponsorship package was handed over to the FMU President Mr George Kagimu at a glamorous press conference held on 8/08/2012 Wampewo Filling station in Kampala. TOTAL UGANDA 's sponsorship cover 15m worth of fuel and lubricants including riders fuel, 6m worth of medals and trophies for the riders . Ms. Ada Eze the MD of TOTAL UGANDA affirmed that their support to motocross was as a result of the rate of growth and promise that the sport has shown in the recent past. Total Uganda is expected to stay in motorsports for a long time to come.
Other faithful partners have continued to chip in to ensure that the organizers and venue hosts offset the huge budget and these include, Mountains of the moon Hotel, Safe Solutions, Farm and Engineering Industries etc.
Mountains of the Moon Hotel & Resort Fort Portal on their part have supported the race with a cash sponsorship of 5 million shillings handing over the package to Uganda Motorsports Arena officials. Mr William Byaruhanga, the Hotel's proprietor stated that association of his hotel with an event of this magnitude would go down as a great partnership to motocross growth and brand strength of the Hotel.
Pioneer Easy will provide affordable transportation to all the spectators to travel to Busiika , the ease in movement will be a great incentive to the mass who have found it difficult to get to the venue previously , buses will move from the city square on both days of the event .
SAFE SOLUTIONS limited is the official fire fighting partner of the FIMA MXOAN , they will provide a 10 man team to mitigate any fire risks all through the event procession , Fire safety is a key aspect that is looked at for any race of this magnitude .
The official track sponsor Farm and Engineering industries limited (FEIL) has yet again revamped the motocross track to the best form for the FIMA race, the support provided included a 6 manned machinery supply for 10 days to put the track in shape for this great race, riders who have ridden after the repairs testify to the energizing and world class experience offered at UMA, let’s see how great the international riders feel about this track.
Additional information source: Brian Tumusiime, UMA manager-Going Sky high