Mary Karooro Okurut excited after opening the 2nd beach woodball world cup in Entebbe, Uganda on Monday (Photo: David Isabirye)
Mary Karooro Okurut excited after opening the 2nd beach woodball world cup in Entebbe, Uganda on Monday (Photo: David Isabirye)
  • 2nd World Beach Woodball Championship
  • 27th – 31st May 2019
  • Spenah Beach, Entebbe

Where else in Uganda could the second Beach Woodball World Cup be held than along the shores of Africa’s freshwater body, Lake Victoria?

A cool breeze often decimated by slight rain drizzles, intermingled with sunny conditions treated the guests to true tropical African weather environs during the official launch of the 2019 World Beach Woodball championship at Spenah Beach, Entebbe on Monday, May 27.

The traditional dancers from Cranes Performers, the Airforce Band, pupils from Motherwell Primary School – Mutungo, Indian and Chinese performers all entertained the crowd in equal measure.

Cabinet Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut ably represented the first lady and minister of education and sports, Janet Kataha Museveni during the colorful launch.

Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Zheng Zhu Qiang plays Beach Woodball at Spenah Beach in Entebbe (Photo: David Isabirye)

The electrifying and magnificent opening ceremony was also attended by two ambassadors, H.E. Zheng Zhu Qiang (Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Uganda) and H.E Kazuaki Kameda (Japanese Ambassador to Uganda), Thomas Kok Cheng Ka (International Woodball Federation General Secretary), Charles Bakabulindi (State minister in for Sports), Paul Mark Kayongo (Uganda Woodball Federation President and IWbF Vice president – Africa), officials from the National Council of Sports, delegation representatives, Uganda Woodball Federation officials and the media.

Indian ladies perform at the official opening ceremony (Photo: David Isabirye)

In her address delivered by Okurut, the first lady Mrs Museveni congratulated Uganda upon the successful hosting of the second Woodball World Cup with anticipation that this milestone will grow the sport further.

Mary Karooro Okurut addresses the gathering at the opening of the second beach woodball world cup in Entebbe, Uganda (Photo: David Isabirye)

Uganda is the pioneer of woodball in Africa. I thank and congratulate the Uganda Woodball Federation for hosting the Africa Woodball Federation. Hosting the second beach woodball world cup will help the sport spread wings further.

Mary Karooro Okurut

Representing the tournament Local Organizing Committee (LOC), the chairperson Vicent Kisenyi appreciated the Governments of Uganda and China, all the partners, sponsors and stakeholders for the effort of developing woodball in Uganda and helping to organize this particular championship.

Vincent Kisenyi introduces the rest of the LOC members (Photo: David Isabirye)

It has taken a combined effort of different parties at play. From the Government of Uganda, China, sponsors and partners, we thank you all in a special way. To the participants, enjoy your stay in Uganda and we wish you a pleasant time. May the best team win.

Vincent Kisenyi, Chairman Local Organizing Committee 2019 World Beach Woodball Championship
Cranes performers thrilled with their magical cultural performances (Photo: David Isabirye)

Kayongo who doubles as the Uganda Woodball Federation and African body boss saluted the travelling countries with a special token of appreciation to Government for continued financial and logistical support in developing this game over time.

I, first of all, thank Government for helping this baby sport grow over the years. I am thankful to all who have helped us in one way or another. Please keep the spirit. I welcome all the participating countries. Please feel at home, this is the Pearl of Africa.

Paul Mark, President Uganda Woodball Federation
State minister of sports Charles Bakabulindi greets Paul Mark Kayongo as Elijah Kiyingi and Patrick Ssebuliba (right) keep a keen eye (Photo: David Isabirye)

Participating countries:

Thirteen countries will take part in the second world beach woodball championship in Entebbe, Uganda.

The hosts Uganda are joined by five other African countries; Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

Others are the known woodball giants Chinese Taipei, Singapore, Hong Kong,  China, Malaysia, India, Japan and Indonesia.

Volunteers hold the flags of the respective countries taking part at the second beach woodball championship in Uganda (Photo: David Isabirye)

The tournament tees off on Tuesday at Spenah Beach as early as 9 AM.

There will be the singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team events.

Day one will mark an official practice session in the morning, then singles and the youth championship before the start of the day one for the Africa Woodball Congress.

Motherwell Junior School pupils with an outstanding performance. They chorused the Uganda Woodball Anthem and also had a stunning performance (Photo: David Isabirye)

The closing ceremony will be on Friday, 31st March 2019.

The teams are accommodated at Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe.

Countries: Uganda (Hosts), Chinese Taipei, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore and Korea

Local Organizing Committee members: Vicent Kisenyi (Chairman), Paul Mark Kayongo (Finance), Julius Lukwago (Welfare, Transport and Accomodation), Rose Matovu (Protocol), Joshua Muhwezi (Security), Fred Kaweesi (Media and Publicity), John Bosco Kaddu (Technical), Gerald Kavuma (Junior Coach), Godfrey Bukenya (Team Manager), John Assimwe (Venue)

Team India waves to the special dignitaries and invited guests as they marched for the official parade (Photo: David Isabirye)
Some of the players on Team Uganda (Photo: David Isabirye)
Chinese Taipei delegation march during the teams’ parade (Photo: David Isabirye)
Airforce also entertained the guests as well as playing the respective national anthems (Photo: David Isabirye)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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