Gumisiriza: Pool needs fresh ideas

Want top seat. Gumisiriza says he has the trust of players and coaches. PHOTO/ G. Katongole

What you need to know:

  • During the general assembly earlier this year, PAU chairman Bob Trubish promised to have the sport back on the table with the prestigious national open key on the agenda.

Although his name is a reflection of patience, Alfred Gumikiriza is impatient to bring change to the Pool Association of Uganda (PAU).

The former national team captain, who retired from the national team in January, now wants the sport’s top seat, saying change is overdue.

“Pool has sunk to its lowest in the recent years. I want to offer myself to take the sport to another level because change is long overdue,” Gumikiriza, commonly known as Black Sheep, said.

The outspoken former captain stated his intentions at the weekly tournament at Pot It Bar in Najjanankumbi along Entebbe Road, where he clashed with PAU spokesman Peter Kyobe.

Gumikiriza, who is the most decorated player with seven league titles, is disappointed with how the association is handling player welfare.

“As players, we do a lot to bring our A Game to the table but I’m disappointed that nothing is being done to advance the cause of the players,” he said.

Gumikiriza told Monitor separately that he was disappointed to see the woman African champion, Rukia Nayiga, and her sister Rashida Mutesi, the continent’s second seed, not benefiting from their performances.

State luncheon

Uganda emerged African champions at the All Africa Blackball Championships in Zambia in March. Although the team was flagged off by the National Council of Sports general secretary Patrick Ogwel, they have not been accorded a promised state reception.

“Our leaders have not done enough to promote our players. We have even in the past won African gold but not even a luncheon has been held in our honour. This means there is something that must be done and it is by having people with pool at heart in leadership,” he said.

PAU have not organised any calendar event since restrictions on Covid-19 were eased and heading into the second half of the year, the first event, PAU Grand Open, is scheduled for the weekend. 

The league cue-off date is still not yet clear.

Gumikiriza said without activities, players find it hard to make a living.

“There are players who make a living out of playing pool. When there are no activities, it becomes hard. It also becomes harder to talk to sponsors when there is no activity to show,” he added.

Promises

During the general assembly earlier this year, PAU chairman Bob Trubish promised to have the sport back on the table with the prestigious national open key on the agenda.

“We’re heading in the right direction and soon we’ll have a sponsor for the national open,” said Trubish, who has a year left on his current term of office but is yet to reveal if he will seek re-election.

The association’s Achilles’ heel is the lack of a vibrant secretariat and competitions body.

“I have ideas and good plans to secure our sport and good enough I have the support of players and managers,” Gumikiriza said.

Leadership of PAU

Caster Ssemwogerere    1999-2003
Adam Sebbi     2004-2006
Bob Menani     2006-2009
Godfrey Mabirizi     2009-2010
Farouk Wamala Kisuze    2011-2016
Bob Trubish    2017-2019
Herbert Turyagyenda    2019 co-opted
Adam Sebbi    2019/20- interim
Bob Trubish    2020 to-date

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