Woodball action
UCU and MUBS female players playing at the 6th Uganda International Woodball Open at Spenah Beach in Entebbe (Photo: David Isabirye)

The International Woodball Federation (IWbF) vice president Thomas Kok is concerned about the slow pace at which the game is spreading wings across African countries.

Kok is in Uganda as an official at the on-going 2019 Beach Woodball World Cup at Spenah Beach in Entebbe.

Addressing delegates at the two-day African Woodball Workshop held at the Peniel beach in Entebbe, Kok urged the Africa countries to consider manufacturing their own woodball playing gear as well as considering the development of international courses.

Since woodball was introduced in Uganda about 10 years ago, there has been steady progress. It has been the base for woodball in Africa. But still, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to spread the game to the rest of the countries in Africa. First, there is a need to have standard international playing courses. In Malaysia for example, we have over 10 international courses and these have helped to improve the players’ skills. Then, African countries should consider manufacturing their own equipment because the woodball equipment imported from Asia is very expensive.

Thomas Kok, Vice President International Woodball Federation (IWbF)
Thomas Kok, the Vice President of the International Woodball Federation (Photo: David Isabirye)

The two day theme of the Africa woodball workshop was inclinded along the theme; “Enhancing Unity, Knowledge & Development of Woodball in Africa”

Officials during the 2019 Africa Woodball Workshop at Peniel beach in Entebbe, Uganda (Photo: David Isabirye)

The topics of discussion included the current woodball development in the world (by Chi Hsiang Weng as facilitator), the current woodball development in Uganda and Africa by Joseph Collins Ssemanda,  woodball rules chapters 1 to 5 by George Isabirye woodball rules chapter 6 to 9 by Dr. Sang Wook Lee, responsibilities of the woodball referee by Thomas Kok, recording methods (referee skills) by Kenichi Shilya, comparison of rules by Dr. Siong Tien Chong, case studies and discussions by Chi Hsiang Weng, the theory session of introduction to playing woodball by Shahnaaz Luwedde, question and answer session on refereeing by Sarah Nakajjubi with a wind-up on playing and refereeing by John Bosco Kaddu.

The session chairpersons were Vicent Kisenyi, Peninah Kabenge and Patrick Ssebuliba.

Paul Mark Kayongo (left) is the president of Africa Wooball Federation (Photo: David Isabirye)

The delegates in attendance were from the host country, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Rwanda.

Since 2006 when woodball was introduced in Uganda by Paul Mark Kayongo, the game has had impressive strides in the country.

Group photo of all the delegates at the 2019 Africa Woodball Workshop in Uganda (Photo: David Isabirye)

Over the years, the game has been spread to Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe and lately Namibia.

The workshop concluded on Wednesday evening ahead of the climax of the second beach woodball world and the 6th Uganda International woodball open.

2nd World Beach Woodball Championship at Spenah beach in Entebbe in Uganda (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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