Pool seeks vibrancy after lull

Fauza Najjemba speaks at the assembly. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

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Presenting a draft plan, a steering committee was announced including vice chairman Robert Kayanja, Paul Wasike and David Mugabi as well as co-opted members.

Pool Association of Uganda chairman Bob Trubish hopes all is well that ends well when it comes to a new year that could usher the sport into a federation status.

The professional banker, who heads the sport may have thought major steps would have fast-tracked the process but ahead of the 2022 annual general meeting that was held on Saturday at Nob View Hotel in Ntinda, they are still catching up.

Trubish’s problems in securing the federation status which was approved last January are more easily understood when you realise the hand he’s been dealt. The association is indebted to a tune of Shs16.m and is planning to write off just over Shs7m in accumulated unrecovered fines and dues.

Despite being historically unpopular with some members of the fraternity, he has personally cleared the federation dues Shs23.8m he donated to clear 2018 league award winners.

But he’s hopeful leading the pool to a federation status will answer most of the questions and build confidence in his leadership.

Presenting a draft plan, a steering committee was announced including vice chairman Robert Kayanja, Paul Wasike and David Mugabi as well as co-opted members.

So far, eight regions have been mapped to form into associations while a clear roadmap is expected in June.

“I am sure by the end of the year we will be ready to move into a federation that is able to access more funding,” Trubish said ahead of the season where the association plans to pool Shs707m for its activities.

Better ideas

In terms of competition, pool had four major events including the national league, PAU Grand Open, Pool King/Queen and the All Africa Blackball championship in Zambia.

The events are few compared to the potential of the sport and the tournament secretary Ismail Kalibbala is intent on including more tournaments on the calendar.

“We need to be more active throughout the year and we have now set eyes on events that can also attract the masters, youths and people with disabilities,” Kalibbala said. But most of these ideas could be effective next year.

Egg on the face

Two resignations and failure to get sponsors for the association was an egg on the face of the executive.

Fauzah Namuganza, who has been in charge of women affairs, resigned from the role citing lack of coordination with the top executive members and snail-slow growth of the sport among women due to lack of a proper strategy. She also complained about male counterparts who create animosity in the fraternity by having multiple ‘girlfriends’ among the players.

While Simon Waiswa, who has been the secretary for universities, schools and institutions, left blaming the pool president Trubish for lip service.

“I am now convinced that you are the problem and the challenge PAU needs to deal with is you... Only mad people can expect that we continue doing the same things, have the same leadership and get different results,” Waiswa said in part in his scathing resignation letter.

The PAU has struggled to attract sponsors to their activities since Nile Special abandoned the prestigious National Open where the winner was receiving a saloon car annually. The national leagues have not been attracting sponsors too since betting firm Betway quit in 2018.

Trubish explained that this was an urgent matter being handled by the executive.

“It is one of the two key areas to make PAU more operationally efficient,” Trubish said.

He told the AGM that there are engaging Nile Breweries over the National Open while working with a team of professionals who have developed a handbook to be able to woo potential sponsors.


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