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Uganda Basketball Players Association Being Revamped

Plans are underway to revive the Uganda Basketball Players Association (UBPA), The-SportsNation has been told.

The body, that mainly fights for players rights, was initially formed in October 2011 but failed to take off.

Eric Malinga was then voted president while Gloria Kyomugisha (General Secretary) and Thaddeus Tonda (Treasurer) were part of the inaugural committee.

Other committee members included David Kiberu (Division I), Michael Kaliisa (Division II), Ahmed Kamoga (Division III) and Ali Mavita (Women).

“It actually ran for two years before being unofficially disbanded,” recounts

Malinga told The-SportsNation.

Malinga says that the players association is a “necessity” because players need one voice that will serve as a representative authority to FUBA and other stakeholders.

When stars meet (L-R): Zainah Lokwameri, Sandra Munduru Ulanga, Peninah Kabenge, Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho, Brenda Ekone. FUBA photo

With baby steps taken so far, FUBA technical Director who doubles as UCU and Gazelles Coach Nicholas Natuhereza says that the body will be acknowledged by the Federation.

Natuhereza revealed that FUBA is working with some of the players to see that the body is revamped.

“We are trying to getting the old team and a group of active players to discuss what was there then, may be reconcile and see what can be done,”

Natuhereza said.

“We are hoping that by the turn of the year which obviously people will be allowed to gather, we will be able to hold elections and have leadership, have it formally registered and then they take it from there.

“As FUBA, we are basically trying to facilitate the process of them getting together then we let them roll with it.”

FUBA Technical Director Nicholas Natuhereza

A WhatsApp group for all team captains of all teams in all divisions has been created to see the way forward. The team captains will then relay the information to their fellow teammates.

Spearheading the group of active players are Paul ‘Magyver’ Odong (Nam Blazers) and Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho (JKL Lady Dolphins).

“Currently, we are just doing start up meetings,”

Magyver briefly commented.

Focus on Improving Players Welfare

With players failing to enjoy life-after-active-sports, the association is expected to dig the way forward and seek basic improvements of conditions from the top bosses.

“The Covid19 period has opened our eyes a lot,” started the experienced Flirsh.

“When the whole season was cancelled, you will find that some of our colleagues have nothing to sustain themselves.

“Those are some of the issues we can address, and there is a lot we can achieve when we are together. We want to make the association bigger, not just representing players only.

“Among ourselves, there are lawyers, marketeers and other businessmen, we are not in a sector where we know each other but if we try to know ourselves, we can help ourselves from within.”

Flirsh added that the Association will among others fight against injustices the players face which include breach of contract, failure by clubs to provide adequate medication, among others.

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