The vociferous Makerere University Woodball Club players sang their lungs out as they celebrated with the coveted President’s Cup at the University main grounds on Sunday.
It was the university’s major triumph in woodball as they lifted the 13th edition of the President’s Cup.
The pair of Mohammad Kasibante and Joel Jonathan Lipa were on the podium for the seniors to celebrate a day of perfect woodball action.
Lipa, a student of construction management stood tall to take his first major title at home with a convincing score of 90 strokes over 24 gates.
Beating competition from Nile Special USPA woodball player of the year Thomas Keddi (92 strokes), Lipa simply went out unnoticed and won it with a superb display from tee to the last gate.
It was a staggering performance for the student, who even had a gate in one during the morning session.
He held off competition from playing partner, Muhammad Kasibante, the winner of the Kyambogo Open in 2021, who gave him a chase throughout the simmering heat at the uneven Makerere University main football pitch.
"This one is for the team. It is unimaginable looking at the experienced players that were looking for the big prize," an emotional Lipa said after picking his gold medal.
The latest win confirmed the twist in the woodball action where anyone can rise to the podium.
Israel Muwanguzi, who had shone at Makerere University Business School a fortnight ago, was a shadow of himself at the President's Cup.
Samson Rugongeza of Uganda Prisons, who promised to stay aggressive prior to kick off had a calamitous day and will look at the team bronze medal with satisfaction.
Who will stop Eminents?
The Eminents pair of Joan Mukoova and Joyce Nalubega continued the juggernaut bossing the women’s leaderboard once again.
Mukoova, the Nile Special USPA female woodball player of the year came on top with an unassailable 83 strokes while Nalubega accomplished the task through 24 gates with 90 strokes on the ball.
Ndejje University’s form player Tracy Nassanga came third with a distant 96 strokes.
Mukoova, a water engineer is still looking for more.
“It is a good feeling to win and I will keep doing my best to win,” she said. “Even though training is hard with work schedules, I remain focused when I get the time,” she added.
Before the coronavirus pandemic swept the sporting world, the President’s Cup was tipped to become an international event. Yet even this edition was held without international players.
Paul Mark Kayongo, the Uganda Woodball Federation president is hopeful the next event will attract players across the borders.
“Travel still has many obstacles at the moment but we are hopeful that next year we will be able to expand and make this tournament more prominent,” said Kayongo, who was impressed with the turn up.
More than 10 corporate bodies including; Bank of Uganda, Ndejje University, Bugema University, University of Kisubi, and Ministry of Public Service were part of the fest. Others include Makerere University, St Joseph Technical Institute Kisubi, Uganda Prisons, Makerere University Business School, Standard High Zzana and Uganda Christian University.
Men’s singles – seniors
Joel Lipa (Makerere) – 90
Muhammad Kasibante (Makerere) – 91
Thomas Keddi (Stroke) – 92
Women’s singles – seniors
Joan Mukoova (Eminents) – 83
Joyce Nalubega (Eminents) – 90
Tracy Nassanga (Ndejje) – 96
Men singles - corporates
Raymond Ssemata (Kisubi) – 81
Innocent Barigye (NCWC) – 86
Daniel Bulega – (Bugema) – 88
Ladies singles - corporates
Aidah Namubiru (IUIU) – 92
Josephine Nantongo (Bank of Uganda) – 96
Noeline Babirye (Kisubi) – 97