Mukono individual pool league sets precedence

Emmanuel Ndiwalana receives his plaque at the prize giving ceremony. PHOTO/ GEORGE KATONGOLE 

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Mwere, a former national league player, who now operates MJ Safaris, a tour company with head offices in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District, said the individual league was a great success on which future tournaments for seniors can be benchmarked.

A three-month individual pool league in Mukono which attracted 30 corporate participants has been hailed as a precedent on which the sport can borrow a leaf.

Last week, the league started by former national team captain Alfred "Black sheep" Gumikiriza was completed with a prize giving ceremony and goat roasting with Emmanuel Ndiwalana emerging top. Ndiwalana, a financial consultant, finished with 71 points beating Julius Ssemanda and Jimmy Mwere, who tied in second place with a margin of 12 points.

The winner walked away with a plaque and Shs400,000 cash prize. Ndiwalana was elated with the victory.

Ndiwalana said he had fulfilled his dream of winning something from pool.

"I have just played pool and this is something which I dreamt of a lot since I was a kid to excel at something one day. Although this is a smaller one I am happy," he said.

Ndiwalana collected many points from the opening games and was out of sight by the time Mwere and Ssemanda, both former league players, launched their assault.


Something to copy

Mwere, a former national league player, who now operates MJ Safaris, a tour company with head offices in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District, said the individual league was a great success on which future tournaments for seniors can be benchmarked.

"We played this league to prove that pool is a game for gentlemen. We need to work hard to change the image of pool being carelessly referred to as a bar game. I call upon PAU to introduce a tournament for seniors where the legends of the game can help motivate the young players," Mwere, who came third in the league said.

The Pool Association of Uganda (PAU) currently runs the men and women senior league and tournaments for elite players. To fill the void, people who own pool arenas have resorted to organising weekly tournaments which sometimes attract some corporate players.

Named the Black Sheep Individual League, it was started in July to bring together legends and corporate players.

Gumikiriza noted that although the league was heavily challenging to organise, a second edition will be more improved.

"We realised that we need sponsors to run effectively. But I am grateful for the interest from corporate players,” he said.

The league was run in partnership with the Black Sheep Pool Arena, Genesis Football Academy and MJ Safaris.


Black Sheep Individual League

Winner: Emmanuel Ndiwalana – 71pts

Second: Julius Ssemanda – 59pts

Third: Jimmy Mwere – 59pts

Fourth: Musa Muyomba – 57pts

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