Minister Denis Hamson Obua feels sports needs more funding.
Obua, who was introduced to woodball during a tour of the federation offices on Friday, commended woodball for its high level of organisation and believes such federations give sports a corporate outlook.
“This is a new sport but I am happy it is offering players an opportunity to use their skills,” he said in officially his last public appearance as sports bows to the Presidential directive of a 32-day lockdown.
Woodball, which has been to five world cups, has already hosted two major events including two world events in 2010 and 2019.
“I definitely think there are more players interested and the development plan is well laid out.” Today, soccer, athletics, netball, boxing, university sports, rugby and basketball take a lion’s share of the sports budget as they are considered priority sports. Woodball has a Shs975m budget but the largest share is funded by the Chinese government.
The woodball federation harbours plans of establishing their own complex. There is already some progress after Buganda Land Board donated a chunk of land in Kasenge, Nsangi Sub-county in Wakiso District.
But the required Shs1b needed to develop the facility, which would be their permanent home and base, is yet to be raised as the National Council of Sports (NCS) has not approved woodball’s request to be considered as a priority sport.
Last year, NCS General Secretary Bernard Ogwel told the 12th annual general woodball meeting at the federation offices in Mengo that they would consider woodball for priority funding because of its role in spreading the sport quickly.
Uganda currently has 4,000 registered woodball players after being introduced in Uganda in 2008. But Obua was particularly impressed with the level of organisation as he toured the federation premises at Balintuma Road in Mengo.
“This is very impressive work,” Obua said after visiting woodball’s museum.
The national woodball team impressed; emerging second in the Beach Woodball World Cup at Spennah Beach in Entebbe last year and hope to better that display in the next edition that will be held in Perlis, Malaysia later this year barring the Covid-19 pandemic.