The State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Nansubuga Seninde has advised parents to support their children in growing their talent in sport saying this will help them for personal development as well as sports development at a national level.
She said this on Saturday while officiating at the Seninde Women Development’s Cup in Mbarara.
The tournament is the fourth of its kind and is supported by Minister Seninde’s daughter, Jean Seninde who is a midfielder cum defender at Queens Park Rangers (QPR) ladies football club in England.
Jean Seninde has been visiting a number of female youth academies inspiring the youths to take on sports to another level.
She is also the Director of Seninde Foundation which equips women with practical skills.
While awarding the best performers at Kakyeka stadium in Mbarara, Minister Seninde applauded all the teams and players that took part in the tournament most especially the team from Tanzania who won the trophy.
“I want to thank the players and also want to congratulate all of you have. All of you have actually all won the game because you have participated and you have made it very interesting. We want to congratulate our team from Tanzania, thank you very much for spicing up this game,” said Seninde.
She thanked God for blessing her with a child (Jean) with a loving heart as well as her effort towards empowering the girl child.
“I want to thank God for giving our daughter the strength and the wisdom and the love for the young generation. Jean has loved her fellow girls, that’s why she has always gone out of her way to organize this kind of tournament,” the Minister said.
“Every little that she saves she invests it in this tournament. She would have remained in U.K and decided to do whatever she wants in the there, but she has always come back home to help and uplift the young girls by giving them that exposure and experience so that they can also be seen and develop their talents”.
The Minister pointed out the need to change the perception that football is a game for only men.
“Because of the cultural set up, many people have always believed that football is a game for males but I am glad that we are breaking that ice and people are beginning to appreciate that even girls can play football,” she said.
She encouraged parents to let children join sports so as to grow their natural talents.
“I want to encourage parents, please be supportive to your children whether a boy or a girl. They can equally be important to the nation. Please give an opportunity to your children support them because you never know where they will end up”.
“Of course once their talents are promoted and they play this game, they can be better people and promote their country like Jean is promoting her country”.
“I am one of the parents like any other parent who thought that your girl wouldn’t get involved in this kind of game. I used to discourage her as a mother thinking that she was going a wrong way and I didn’t know that that is what God had given her”.
The Seninde Development Women’s Cup started in 2016 with a goal to create opportunities for all women in Uganda who have a passion to play, according to Jean.
“I am very proud and humbled to say that today we have held the fourth edition of the Seninde Development Cup” Jean Seninde said.
She asked the female youths to work hard to represent Uganda in the Women’s World Cup.
“We are going to go to the World Cup one day, we are going to go to AFCON but we are not going to go there by waiting for things to be done for us. We have to stand up and do things so that other people can learn from us”.
“Fellow footballers, success is about being persistent and that’s what I did and today, we have the greatest woman in the whole world who heads women football and she watched you to play so all of us here we are very lucky today” she explained
She said that since the tourney’s inception, over 10,000 women and girls have taken part, 30 officials, 60 volunteers, 30 girls now taking part in the women elite league, 20 with university bursaries and education opportunities in secondary schools.
“This tournament is not just about winning. It is about us participants, the fans coming together as one and going on a journey together to discover something great,” Seninde explained.
She however said that the project is being strained by lack of funding.
“Many of you don’t see the tears, many of you don’t see the sleepless nights, and many of you don’t see lack of finances but you keep demanding for more. This years’ edition for me has been the toughest emotionally, physically and financially” Seninde said
“We have had an international team today for the first time ever we got out of Kampala and came to Mbarara and for us it was to challenge ourselves to push our limits.” Seninde said
She encouraged women to use the talent aspect to become bold and develop their self esteem.
The one-day girls’ football bonanza played at Kakyeka Stadium on Saturday saw Kinondoni football club from Tanzania beating St Mary’s S.S 3-0.