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Revised: who are the most influential women in the Uganda Sports?

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Ranked: The top five influential women in the Uganda sports

The women in the sports sector in Uganda may face a lot of difficulties in the various sports they participate in or pursue as their careers or life. However, a few will stand up and become influential figures and inspire the younger generation willing to take upon the sport. As many sporting activities in the country continously become more competitive in especially the ladies’ category, a few ladies have actually gone beyond their level to start challeneging the men in mixed sports such as Motorsports which are somehow risky.

We earlier published the same aticle which turned out to be controversial as per the listing. This time, in no particular order, we present a revised and expanded listing of the most influential women have in sports. We have considered their respective contribution to sport in Uganda and the world at large.

Jean Namayega Sseninde

Jean Sseninde | Courtesy Photo

Popularly known as Jean Sseninde, daughter to NRM Ugandan politician Rosemary Sseninde, is a professional footballer who has played or a number of teams locally and on the international level. She is a defender and has previously featured for Queen’s Park Rangers Women Football Club, a club she joined from London Phoenix. She first played professional football for Charlton athletics women football club after she had just moved from Uganda and also had a short loan stint with the Crystal Palace ladies team. Sseninde recently joined Wakefield Trinity Ladies FC which plays in one of lower divisions of English Football.

Her work through the Jean Sseninde Foundation has inspired and empowered young women and girls in Skill training, Sports and health sector and has helped alot of Ugandan girls acquire study busaries through playing football across the globe.

Furthermore, Jean started up the Jean Sseninde Women Development tournament for girls across Uganda and this has turned out to be a success for the last 3 editions as it has produced alot of talent in the girl child.

Suzan Muwonge “Super Lady”

Susan Muwonge with her NRC titles alongside his partner Edmond Kyeyune | Courtesy Photo

Inspired by Rose Rwakataka, a wife to Motorsport driver Ponsiano Lwakataka who is also a rally driver, Suzan Muwonge has turned out to hold a big name in the sports sector. She was nick named ‘Super lady’ for her driving skills. Muwonge has gone on to prove her worth behind the wheel, becoming the first lady to win the National Rally Championship (NRC) tittle in 2011.

She also became the first lady driver and still the only lady to win a national Rally championship in the world but she did not relax as she went on to win her second NRC tittle in 2018 in her Subaru N12B alongside her long serving co-driver Edmond Kyeyune. A multi talented Muwonge dropped her singing career to focus on Motorsports. She doubles as a director at ST. Francis Junior school-Buddo.

Dorcus Inzikuru

Dorcus Inzikuru is a Ugandan track and field athlete who broke Uganda’s 33-year jinx without winning a medal at the world championships as she won a gold medal in the inaugural steeplechase 3000m run at the 2005 Olympics in Helsinki. John Akii Bua who won gold in the 400m hurdles and Leo Rwabogo a silver medalist in boxing were the last participants to bring back a medal for Uganda at the 1972 Olympics.

Inzikuru went on to win a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth games in Melbourne running in the 3000m steeplechase race, her legacy inspired a lot of young girls from across the country.

She remains a big figure in the Uganda Athletics based in Italy.

Peace Proscovia – Netballer/Basketballer

Peace in action for one of her clubs. | Photo Courtesy

Peace Proscovia, known as the Warid tower for her height standing at 6.4ft is the captain of the Uganda Netball team, She Cranes, a team She captained to back to back World Cup tourneys ( 2015 and 2019). After playing for National Insurance Cooperation (NIC) in the Uganda Netball league, She left Uganda in 2016 to join England’s Loughborough Lightning before switching to Australia’s Sunshine Coast in the Australian Super Netball league.

Peace also captained the She Cranes team that lifted the 2013 Netball Singapore Nation’s Cup and the African netball cup in 2017.

Away from netball, Peace is multi talented. She also featured for the Uganda Gazelles at the 2015 AfroBasket Women’s Championship in 2015 that took place in Cameroon before turning into a professional netballer.

 While at NIC, Peace used to play basketball  for KCCA Ladies basketball team in FUBA’s NBL.

Hasifah Nassuna – Footballer

Hasifa in action for Uganda Cranes

Hasifah Nassuna stands to be the most decorated player in the Women Super league winning five trophies with two sides. Nassuna won four consecutive trophies with Kawempe Muslim SSS football team before joining UCU lady Cardinals where she won her 5th title in 2019.

She was awarded the FUFA women Most valuable player (MVP) award in 2016 for her brilliant displays at both club and country level. She is a role model to most of the young girls playing in the FUFA Women Super league.

Sheila Richardson Agonzibwa – Handball President

Sheila Agonzibwa during an UOC Council meeting | New Vision Courtsey

Sheila Agonzibwa is currently the longest serving federation president in Uganda’s sports history, having been at the helms of the Uganda Handball Federation (UHF) since 2000. Before becoming the president, Sheila played for Police Handball Club in the 1980s and also featured for the country.

During her reign as the federation president, the Uganda National Handball team broke the 25-year jinx when they qualified for the 2019 All Africa games in Senegal and for her love for the sport, Agonzibwa donated her New Gloria Hotel, located on Johnson Street to work as the Uganda Handball Federation Offices.

Sheila Agonzibwa Richardson is also the African zone 5 Handball president.

Diana Hope Nyago – Busoga United President

The Kyabazinga of Busoga Kingdom and Busoga United FC chief Ms. Hope Dinah Nyago shortly after the partnershp that could see Kirinya Jinja SS renamed Busoga United FC | Courtesy photo

Diana Hope Nyago, a teacher by profession and currently the club president of Uganda Premier league side Busoga United. Amidst the wrangles and set backs between their partnership with the Busoga Kingdom in use of the name Busoga United, she has helped the sports sector in Busoga region grow at a fast rate through her love and passion for sports.

She witnessed and  played a vital role in Busoga United’s promotion from the Regional league to the Big league and finally the Uganda Premier league.

Rebecca Namyalo Kazimbwe – Football Fan

Rebecca Namyalo Kazibwe commonly known as Maama Becca in the football circles and a staunch Express FC fan died in 2001. Her love for football advocated for foundation of Women’s football in Uganda in the early 90’s alongside Paul Ssali.

The legacy left by Maama Becca remains celebrated every year through the Mama Becca Memorial football tournament, which was started in 2012 with girls teams taking part from the Primary, Secondary and Open categories.

Hellen Buteme – Rugby 7’s Women team coach

Hellen Buteme during one of her trainings with the lady Cranes 7’s

Hellen Buteme, who is a research scientist by profession is one of the pioneers of Women rugby in Uganda. She was part of the team that played the first touch rugby in Uganda in 2002 and went on to play her first international match at the Kabeberi series in 2004.

She also captained the Lady Cranes team to the inaugural World Rugby Women 7’s series in 2009 in Dubai.

Inspired by Abigail Kawonza of Zimbabwe, Buteme became the second female head coach as she took on the Rugby 7’s team in 2016 and led them to their first World Rugby 7’s tournament qualifiers in Hong Kong.

Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho – Basketball player

Flavia Oketcho has played basketball for almost 20 years in Uganda and all at the top of her game. She has won 12 league titles and two NBL MVP accolades and has won atleast a title at all clubs she has been at.

Playing her first game in 2004 for the Lady Bucks, Flirsh has featured for UCU Lady Canons, KCCA Leopards and JKL lady dolphins, all in the National Basketball league (NBL) in less than 20 years. She has also featured for the Uganda Gazelles in that period

Peninah Kabenge

Peninah Kabenge

Peninah Kabenge is the Principle Sports tutor at Makerere University. Born in a family of a sports background of Mr. & Mrs. Aligawesa, Kabenge started sports at a tender age playing mostly basketball, badminton and hockey but went on to represent Uganda in track and field athletes and playing woodball.

She has served sports as a leader at the National Olympic Committee as the Secretary General and She is the International Woodball Federation President,doubling as General Secretary Association of African University sports (a
(AUUS).

Lydia Sanyu Dhamuzungu – Chairman UHA

Lydia Sanyu Dhamuzungu is the current Chairman for Uganda Hockey Association after replacing Dunstan Nsubuga in 2017.

Dhamuzungu also features for Weather head ladies team in the Uganda National Hockey league. Having played hockey for almost 20 years, Dhamuzungu is eager to see the sport develop in the country through her leadership.

Majida Nantanda – CAF instructor

Majida Nantanda became the first coach for the crested cranes and now she is a CAF and FIFA Instructor

Majida Nantanda is one of the most educated female coach and a pioneer of women football at the Women National team, the Crested cranes before being replaced by Faridah Bulega in 2017. She is now a CAF and FIFA instructor for women football coaching.

Catherine Adipo- FIFA Instructor

Catherine Adipo- FIFA Instructor| New Vision

Playing Volleyball before switching to football, Catherine Adipo is one of the pioneer Women referees in Uganda who rose to the FIFA ranks in 1995 when she attained a FIFA badge.

Adipo played volleyball for Kampala Amateur Volleyball club and captained the national volleyball team in 1982 before turning to Football refereeing. She is now a FIFA/CAF rderees instructor.

Sandra Nabweteme – Footballer

Having come through the ranks at Kawempe Muslim SSS where she guided the team to the inaugural Women Football league in 2015 and was subsequently voted as the league MVP and crowned the Airtel FUFA player of the year later that year.

She plays football for Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in the US.

Flavia Namakula – Golf player

Flavia Namakula is one of the greatest talents in the sport of golf in Uganda, having won five of the Uganda Golf Open titles. She became the first Ugandan to win the Kenyan Golf open and holds the record of being the youngest player to win the Uganda Women Golf Tournament.

Christine Kizito – Rugby coach

Christine Kizito also known as Uganda’s Rugby Landlord is a celebrated female rugger who started playing rugby at a tender age and now is a coach at Stallions, a Second division club, holding a Level one and Level two coaching license.

She also played Volleyball, Athletics, Netball, Javelins and Discus in her tender days.

Usher Komugisha – Sports Journalist

Began with a random invitation to Power FM studios in October 2008, to listen to renowned pundits Joseph Kabuleta and Mark Ssali do their traditional sports show. Usher was asked to speak on air about basketball, which she was then playing. She impressed, and on the recommendation of Kabuleta, found herself in the New Vision newsroom reporting sports the following year.

She went on to work for International Sports Press Association (ISPA) and Federation for International Sports in Universities (FISU) at the World University Games in China before being selected to cover the 2012 Olympics in London.

Usher is a writer and produces content for Supersports, and a correspondent for the UK-based The Guardian Daily, and the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA). She has inspired alot of young girls to join sports journalism

 


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