Women’s Football in Uganda has taken great strides over the past few years. With girls/ladies playing regularly, there has been evident increase the quality and the number of girls taking part.
One of the tournaments that has given a platform to young girls to show their adeptness is the Sseninde Women Development Football Tournament an initiative started by Crested Cranes defender Jean Sseninde who plies her trade with Crystal Palace Ladies FC in England.
The two editions that have been held previously have given off dividends according to Sseninde and believes the third edition which was launched on Thursday will even be better.
“ We have registered numerous success stories in the previous two editions and given chance to very many young girls to express their talent and it is on that note that we want to carry on with the tournament.” Said Sseninde.
She also further asserts that besides, the football bit of it, the tournament also focuses on helping the less privileged girls attain quality education at the same time.
“ On top of giving the girls a platform to play, we have also helped a number to get scholarships so that they can stay in school as well because education is important.”
The theme of this year’s edition that will be played on 17th August will be ‘Our Turn’ aimed at prompting equality and inclusion.
Before the launch, there was a football clinic conducted by former Crested Cranes coach Majidah Nantanda and Cranes captain Dennis Onyango.
Onyango lauded Sseninde for the initiative and encouraged the young girls to take on the opportunity.
“ I thank Jean(Sseninde) for the initiative because Women’s football needs support and if a young girl like her comes out with such a good initiative, we need to thank her and call upon the other stakeholders to come on board. The girls out there who have the talent to play should embrace this chance because football is no longer about men only. “ He said.
Hon.Rosemary Sseninde the Minister for Primary Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports who is also the mother of Jean Sseninde called upon the young girls to take on the chance of playing football.
“ I used to stop Jean from playing football when she was young because I thought it was a men’s game but I must say I’m now proud of her because she has been successful while playing football. So I call upon the young girls to use this tournament and develop their talents because you never know what the future holds for you.”
Among the new developments expected this year will be a team from Europe( not revealed yet) taking part.
A total of eight teams will be selected from across the entire country to take part in the one day tournament.
Some of the notable players that have played in the Sseninde tournament since inception in 2016 include: Sarah Bikirize(Uganda Martyrs High School), Shamira Nalujja(Isra Academy) and Fauzia Najjemba(Isra Academy).