Uganda Hockey Association (UHA) President, Philip Wafula is vying for the position of an Executive Board member of the Africa Hockey Federation with the elections slated for Saturday, 22nd January 2022 in Accra, Ghana. The elections coincide with the Africa Cup of Nations (ACN) slated for January 17-23 at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium.
Africa Hockey will hold elections for two categories, that is; Vice President that already has Ghana’s Nii Quaye-Kumah unopposed and two Executive Board members. Four individuals have expressed interest for the latter, that is; Doshi Kaushik (Tanzania), Ediga Agbo (Nigeria), Philip Wafula (Uganda) and Lwandile Simelane (South Africa).
Among others, Wafula says that he intends to bring the national associations close to the continental body for the better of the game.
“The major challenge Africa Hockey has faced is trying to keep in touch with the local or national associations and how to come into fully supporting them,” Wafula said in a recent interview adding that his focus will be to bridge that gap between hockey’s national governing bodies and the continental body.
“Part of my time I’ll spend at the board will be to ensure that we take ourselves to the national associations, let them feel that we are there to support them in terms of capacity, resource mobilization and also create activities that keep them in the game,” Wafula added.
Wafula also wants to ensure that Africa Hockey comes up with regional events to enhance engagement and ensure that national teams are more active other than just waiting for the Nation’s meet that itself has qualifiers.
According to Wafula, he will also urge Africa Hockey to ensure that they make early/timely plans for their events to enable national associations mobilize resources early enough for engagements and also create ease in budgeting.
Wafula also adds that if he makes the cut, it will be a big opportunity to represent Uganda’s interests at continental level.
“Uganda hasn’t been represented in the Africa Hockey Executive Board since time immemorial and it will be a big chance to have somebody on that table so that we can discuss with the big boys to see how we can support the game here,” Wafula said.
Meanwhile, Uganda Hockey is very optimistic of having its senior teams (men and women) take part in the ACN and Wafula says that the men’s team is capable of reaching the quarter finals whilst the women who are making their continental debut can also upset odds and pick maximum points somewhere.