The Uganda Woodball Federation (UWbF) has been hailed by many as a model federation in the country because of their organisation, focused, progressive and purposeful leadership, and a very good organised office.
UWbF is one of the youngest in the country with just 12 years. We have so far registered massive successes as a federation we have; hosted national competitions at junior and senior levels, represented the country at regional, continental, and international stage.
In the interest of better performance at all levels UWbF seeks to establish a permanent home. The new home will further grow and develop the sport not only in Uganda but also on the African continent. Uganda is the only country in Africa that is mandated to manufacture woodball equipment and is also tasked to grow the sport on the continent.
According to the UWbF president Mark Kayongo, the federation requires about 5-7 acres of land not only to construct a standard woodball course but also a proposed woodball complex housing woodball offices, a clubhouse, accommodation facilities, conference hall, and the factory. He says the over sh3b project will be carried out in phases because it will involve the construction of a standard woodball course, factory, clubhouse, and other facilities, but we planning to start with the factory in the first phase.
"We want to start with the equipment manufacturing factory because currently it is housed at Ndejje University but it lacks adequate space yet the Chinese government has donated machines which can boost production," says the UWbF president.
"We now have a franchise and have to satisfy the demand for this equipment in the regional and African market and that's why the Chinese have been donating a machine (one every year) for the past three years," Kayongo stated.
He said currently they have two new machines that can produce 6 mallets and ten balls per day, four and two more than before."In the first phase, we want to have a factory but it could be done concurrently with the course because, by regulation, we must have two standard courses; one beach and the other grass.
"For the beach and grass courses, we need 7 acres (3 for the grass course, 2 for the beach, and the rest for the other facilities.
"We are looking at partnerships to achieve this with the Chinese that are already offering equipment, the government of Uganda, and the International Woodball Federation and other local partners, but in a phased manner," Kayongo noted.
He said the project is aimed at moving them towards self-sustenance in the long run because woodball is one of the fast-growing, all-inclusive sports that has attracted several participants across the board; from juniors, schools, universities, and the corporate world. It has gotten an influx of players and the demand for equipment is high according to Kayongo.
"We have so far introduced woodball to Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Sudan, Congo, Zimbabwe and to six other countries and if it wasn't for COVID-19 we would have introduced it to even more countries by now,"
The UWbF has been getting seasonal support from the government for some activities but would now wish to have more support from them. UWbF is the only federation in the country that manufactures its equipment, having received help from the Chinese government with the machinery. With more advanced machines having been offered to us, there is now an urgent need to construct a factory to house the machines