Sound structures of administration, technical and management define institutions world over.
Such structures often provide the right directional path and important strong pillars that could be used to front change and bench-mark a way forward.
The Uganda Hockey Association (UHA) is one happy family that constitutes the 51 of the duly registered sports federations and associations under the National Council of Sports (NCS).
Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye dissects the influential figures who diligent serve the UHA day and night, 24-7 and week-in, week-out.
Lydia Gloria Dhamuzungu
Lydia Gloria Dhamuzungu is the president of the Uganda Hockey Association, a fort folio held since 2017.
She is referred by many as the “Hockey Iron lady”.
Dhamuzungu is very soft spoken albeit confident in pursing the very best for Hockey.
During her tenure, she has worked to see many players play the game both in the clubs, universities and schools.
She has had an admirable focus on capacity building where over 200 coaches and game officials have been trained since she took office.
Some of officials have international certification in her reign something you cannot ignore. Dhamuzungu has also witnessed the return to activity of the national teams which had gone dormant since 2011.
She started with preparation of the team that was to go to Algeria for the Youth All Africa Games as well as Youth Olympic qualifiers.
Though team did not finally travel but at least she showed the heart to see it happen. In 2018 she led a select team of players from the national league selected from the different clubs that participated in the league to Bungoma for the Magharibi Festival tournament which the Uganda select team won convincingly.
Whereas this was not a tournament for national teams but it was a step in reviving the national code a trophy is credited to her for looking for sponsors to support this adventure.
In 2019 Dhamuzungu embarked on a mission to see that both men and women National teams prepare for the Olympic qualifiers that were in Stellenbosch, South Africa but failed to travel due to funds.
Her efforts cannot be over looked in reviving national teams.
With sour relations left by her predecessor, Dhamuzungu has worked to see that UHA relations with National Council of Sports (NCS) are positive and yield support to the hockey community.
Through networking skills she has harnessed benefits from Uganda Olympic committee through which we now have the Development for National Sports Systems (DNSS) project.
The project worth Shs 120, 000,000 has seen the training of coaches and umpires among other initiatives to be implemented. She has also been able to connect with Africa Hockey Federation to receive Targeted Assistance Program Support (TAP) which is running for three years in East Africa Region.
Dhmuzungu has worked hard to lure sponsors to the sport among others including Kampala Cement Company, Basco paints Uganda, Twist (Dutch) and Uganda Baati who is supporting the league.
With her executive, she has created clear pathways for career growth of game officials and umpires.
There is lots of initiatives to grow the sport by training teachers in hockey playing schools in coaching and umpiring, Distribution of equipment to virgin communities to start Hockey like in Kumi, Gulu and Seeta.
This is credited to her good skills of resource mobilization both in equipment and funds.
In her reign, the presences of Hockey in Olympic matters like celebrating the Olympic day joining the rest of the world between June 23rd -25th every year.
Through this initiative FIH found Uganda Hockey to receive a development grant of 1000 CH which was use in training the national team.
Michael Nashimolo is the current vice Chairperson of Uganda Hockey Association serving a long side Dhamuzungu.
He is popularly referred to as “Nash” in the Hockey family.
Nashimolo is also the chairman of the schools and development committee charged with spreading the game of Hockey in all parts of Uganda.
In line with this role, he is spearheading the Development of National Sports Systems in Uganda hockey a project supported by International Olympic committee through Uganda Olympic Committee.
Nash is an active player featuring for Rockets Hockey Club and a valuable player.
He is also a long serving umpire who is confident of rules while executing he is at his role.
He is one of the senior umpires with the right character and temper to handle the “big games”.
Arnold Vincent Kasasa:
Arnold Vincent Kasasa is a Level 2 FIH certified coach. He guided his club Weatherhead to glory by lifting the 2018 League winner’s trophy.
He has been instrumental in giving tactics to all players in the club and also the schools he coaches.
Kasasa has either initiated or grown the game of Hockey in schools like Buddo King’s College, Namagunga, St Mary’s Kisubi, St Charles Lwanga Kasasa, Bukulula SSS, Ntale School, and in Gulu.
After a long time without Hockey having a national Team, Kasasa headed the select team of league players to participate in a tournament in Bungoma Western Kenya where they emerged winners in 2018.
He in February 2019 let the youth side of boys and girls to TAP East Africa Tournament in Nairobi Kenya where both teams clenched bronze something that is not a mean achievement for Hockey.
Kasasa is currently the National Coordinator of the Development of National Sports System In Uganda Hockey a project funded by International Olympic Committee (IOC) through Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC).
Suzan Khainza is a dedicated coach of Rhino Hockey Club.
From scratch, this ladies team was started by Khainza.
It is composed of youthful females majorly from St. Charles Lwanga, Kasasa and Old Kampala Senior Secondary School.
Khainza has been instrumental to strengthening girls hockey in Old Kampala consolidating on the great work by Late William Mukasa (Zico).
Before starting Rhino’s Hockey Club, Khainza coached Kampala Hockey Club Swans Ladies team and by the time she left it was a team strong enough to beat even the league winners.
She is a trained sports manager who is ready to take the game to places where it does not exist.
Khainza also single handly mobilizes equipment that she uses to train the your girls.
Stanley Tamale is an Assistant General Secretary in charge of administration.
Tamale is very agile in seeing hockey work progress in various departments.
He has worked as an umpire on two continental tournaments elevating his level to FIH.
Tamale is blessed with strong Public Relations and Marketing skills and has been instrumental in pursing key sponsors and partners for Hockey.
Besides, he is also an active player in Kampala Hockey Club and has had his name on the score sheets in the Uganda Hockey League.
Innocent Mbabali is one of the young coaches and players with self-made skills that are a marvel.
He trained the Wananchi Ladies team that has gone on to win trophies five years consecutively.
This team is a marvel full of young ladies featuring for Kakungulu Memorial Secondary School, a team that was able to win the gold medal in the FEASSA Games 2019.
In 2012, Baba as he is commonly referred to started training your kids from Naguru and nearby communities and this young boys and girl have since formed what is known today as Hope for Uganda Hockey Academy.
Through this sports code, he has taken hockey to different communities like in Kabale and in Kumi organizing sports camps with the support of Kampong Hockey club in Netherlands and Hockey Dreams foundation.
Through this support he has travelled to the Netherlands and participated in Sports Ways Hockey camps as a coach.
Mbabali has mentored a number of young coaches majorly ladies from Wananchi Sports Club.
As a player he has been able to test professional hockey in Nairobi featuring for USIU Hockey club.
Mbabali is scheduled to feature for Bologna Hockey Club in Italy for the season of 2020/2021 and he will join the likes of Emmanuel Owani in Tanzania and others on the streak of professional (commercial) hockey.
Aisha Kagere Kateregga:
Aisha Kagere Kateregga is currently a level 2 FIH technical officer after a course she attended in South Africa in August 2019.
She currently is in charge of appointing the technical officials of all UHA tournaments and League.
Kateregga is trained sports administer with a Diploma in Sports Management attained from Uganda Olympic Committee.
At the same time, she remains a dedicated hockey player featuring in Weatherhead Hockey Club ladies’ team.
She is one of the ladies who has played hockey from the time while in school and still plays till now in the same club
Kenneth Tamale is the current Umpire manager of Uganda Hockey Association.
He is tasked with the job of appointing umpires in all UHA sanctioned tournaments and the National League.
Tamale is the current Assistant treasurer for Uganda Hockey Association, a role he has held for close to three years now.
He is a Level 1 FIH umpire an achievement he got in February 2019. In Uganda Hockey he has been awarded as the best umpire in 2019 end of season.
Tamale is active player featuring for Rockets Hockey club, in which club he serves as an executive Chairman member.
Jamilu Buwembo (Head Teacher Kakungulu Memorial School)
Jamilu Buwembo is the head teacher of Kakungulu Memorial School.
Through the policies he made for the school, the Uganda Hockey Association (UHA) has witnessed the nurturing of many hockey players both boys and girls through offering them bursaries.
This initiative earned him a gold medal in the East Africa Secondary School games in Tanzania when the girls team won.
A number of schools have since seen value in the sport that they also now offer bursaries the likes of St. Charles Lwanga Kasasa, Old Kampala SSS among others.