Kampala- For the first time in 25 years, the motocross season will start without the name Arthur Blick Jr among the list of competitors.
The 11-time national champion quit the sport last season but his relationship with MX Championships will never end.
“There is a sad part in my heart that I won’t race again,” Blick Jr said yesterday.
“But my association with motocross will never end. I want the sport to go to another level on and off the track.” Blick’s children Arthur Alestair, Paddy Roldin, Jayden George and Arthur are all actively competing on the local calendar and it is his wish that they build careers far more illustrious than his that brought him nine Uspa MX rider of the year gongs, two grass-track titles (1997, 98) and two East and Central Africa MX Championships (2017, 18).
The 2019 season starts on Sunday and Blick will be watching on the side-lines with keen interest.
“It will be a more competitive season and that is because more than 80 per cent of the riders will ride 2019 models and that is credit to the parents of many of the children,” Blick observed.
“10 years ago, we were buying 30-year-old machines in Ndeeba but today we have riders in the latest models.”
Blick Jr noted that riders like Maxime Van Pee, Kylan Wekesa, Fortune Ssentamu, Ali Omar Jr, Gift Ssebuguzi and the Orland siblings will all race in the newest models, a development that can only enrich the battles in the upcoming season. The only challenge for motocross, according to Blick, is the one of partners.
“We need more partners to grow the sport. We are very grateful to Mountain Dew and Shell who have grown with us and we have grown with them but we would do with more partners be it from the corporate world or government.”
Blick has no doubt about the potential that abounds in Ugandan motorsport.
“Kenya has far fewer young riders than us, which is a big plus for Uganda.
“Because we are on an upward trajectory in terms of what the future holds. But we need more money to build more tracks, add in sand in the existing ones, buy more bulldozers and maintain them.
“But that can only happen when we have support of the government. We are now bidding to host the MX of All Africa Nations in 2020 where we think we shall do very well because of the range of drivers we have across all classes.”
Blick emphasized that Uganda’s shortcoming in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 events in Kenya, Botswana and Zambia was a failure to travel with a full team of riders because of the expenses involved.
It is why he is keen on Uganda hosting the 2020 event considering that the federation would then not have to worry with footing bills to fly their best riders out of Entebbe.
NCS chairman John Bosco Onyik and acting general secretary Dr Bernard Ogwel have become MX enthusiasts and Blick Jr will be hoping they can heed his call for increased funding from government.