The introduction of Woodball is one of several changes expected at the East Africa University Games (EAUG) due December 17-21 as Mukono based Uganda Christian University (UCU) finalizes preparations to host the 9th edition of the regional showpiece.
The development was announced by Vicent Kisenyi, the Local Organising Committee vice-president, said on Tuesday at UCU, Main Campus Mukono.
“Woodball will mark its debut at the games in history”, Kisenyi confirmed.
Uganda is one of the strongholds of Woodall in the whole region and world over but surprisingly, that sport has been played in the country for less than 10 years.
Ten Ugandan universities and four from Kenyan have already confirmed teams to take part in the category.
It also made a big statement at the National University Games last year with top lady player Lillian Zawedde maintained her dominance. The Ndejje University student produced a winning display in a number of tournaments as well.
History of Woodball
Woodball was invented in 1990 by Mr. Ming-Hui Weng from Taipei City. Uganda was the first African country to embrace the game.
Paul Mark Kayongo and Peninah Kabenge are the only Ugandan coaches certified by the international body. They are also the pioneers of the game in the country.
Three companies; Lions Assurance, Movit Industry Limited and Centenary Bank today unveiled their Shs.15m lift to the regional games.
“We are glad for this timely offer which will help in the organization of the event” Anny Katabaazi, chairperson of the LOC said.
Over 5,000 sportsmen from 11 countries are expected to converge at the Mukono campus to compete in football, rugby, chess, athletics, basketball, volleyball, handball, netball and lawn tennis, among other disciplines. Uganda will field 23 Universities, Kenya (22), Tanzania (9) and Rwanda 1 and it was also announced that swimming will be held at Kampala Parents School while Rugby (7s) will be played at Namilyango College.
Age limit for participants has also been raised from 27 to 29 years but sportsmen awaiting graduation won’t be allowed to compete as has previously been the case. Kisenyi revealed 75 per cent of the Shs1.2b Games budget has been catered for but appealed for more corporate support.