Woodball: KU assemble solid team. Is it enough to make them the best?

Zawedde (R) gifts upcoming player Bridge Byamukama a mallet for hitting a gate-in-one during the Kyambogo Open last year. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

What you need to know:

Kampala University will field two teams this year with 10 male and 11 female players.

As the 2023 season ended, Uganda Prisons and the Ministry of Public Services were wrapping up everything on the local woodball calendar. Other teams were left to pick the crumbs of silverware here and there. Then Kampala University (KU) went on a spending spree in the run-up to the upcoming 2024 season.

KU, whose full membership to the Uganda Woodball Federation (UWbF) was confirmed during Saturday's Congress in Kampala, added eight new players on the senior team roster including the reigning Uganda Open champion Matthias Wahala, who was recruited from Ndejje University. He is joined by David Kabugo, the reigning doubles champion, Tracy Nassanga and Catherine Namusisi.

Other players have been drawn from Ndejje Corporates including Sarah Nakandi, Sandra Nabaggala, Lillian Zawedde and Moses Agaba from Kampala International University.

The team has been boosted by Gilbert Kigangu, a silver medallist from the AUUS Games last December. Alex Mpiirwe and Raphael Kanabahirwa have joined from Mbarara University.

Kampala University will field two teams this year with 10 male and 11 female players.

Zawedde, who completed her move from Ndejje Corporates, was named the head coach. She said: "We are here to make our University the best as far as woodball is concerned. We hope to have a good start since we have recruited the best players. We shall train more players so that we are unstoppable in the near future.”

With such a team, KU have turned into woodball's impossible-to-ignore elephant in the room. The sporting powerhouse fans are captivated as their founding Vice Chancellor Prof Badru Kateregga is a man who lives by wins in life.

Litmus test

Against such a backdrop, the most expensive team at the moment has to actually get down to the business of playing on the fairways. With a squad littered with experience and youth, the season which tees off this Sunday at the beach will be the litmus test.

Head coach Zawedde has a mixed bag. Wahala rose to the occasion during the Uganda Open.

With the opposition remaining stable, maybe Ndejje will suffer more but the Ministry of Public Services (women) and Prisons (men) will be keen on carrying forward their form especially in the World Cup year.

Fortunately, a lot is expected from the trio of Nakandi, Nabaggala (Zawedde's younger sister, a TV news anchor on BBS TV), Zawedde herself and Agaba, all of whom are National Team material. The other compelling signing is Nassanga, a calm player, who is yet to play her best woodball.

KU won't surely remain with a picture of mediocrity, although the competition will surely be tough.

KU Woodball team

Chairman: Carl Augustine Mugalu

Manager: Martha Soigi

Asst. Manager: Kenneth Okello

Finance manager: Stella Nabukenya

Head coach: Lillian Zawedde


Matthias Wahala (Ndejje)

David Kabugo (Ndejje)

Moses Agaba (KIU)

Rose Sandra Nabaggala (NCWC)

Tracy Nassanga (NCWC)

Catherine Namusisi (Ndejje)

Sarah Nakandi (Ndejje)

Gilbert Kigangu (BSU)

Alex Mpiirwe (MUST)

Raphael Kanabahirwa (MUST)

Irene Nakintu (KIU)

Dorothy Kabasinguzi (Mulago Paramedical)

Robinah Ageno

Alicia Aganze

Arakaza Nakate

Damali Baseke

Hashim Turyasingura

Daniel Onen

Morris Okello

Mark Opira