Kampala — At the first ever Women and Sports Conference in Uganda, at Grand Imperial Hotel February 22, congregants, mostly girls, spent a full day in Sasa Hall navigating the country and demanding situations of ladies’ sports activities in Uganda. Inadequate investment, lack of safe area, and restrained media interest–with societal stereotypes the thread that connects those–featured most. Marking the International Women’s Day, we present excerpts from our exclusive interviews with a number of the panelists. Winnie Atyang: Former countrywide rugby captain People study ladies as if they’re just losing time doing sure things like sports activities. Because the sport I do is male-dominated, human beings question me ‘what are you going to advantage because after some years you’ll endure children and drop out.’ But I inform them ‘I already bore my kids and I’m still performing very well.’ Someone asks you ‘are you lesbian, why are you gambling any such sport?’ It’s insulting and demoralizing to mention the least.
The different issue is the lack of funding. I consider there are numerous gifted girls who die with their competencies due to the fact the government does now not fund us sufficiently. I did not forget a schools rugby opposition a few years ago. A girl from Lira turned into very good, very rapid passionate and aggressive however performed in a skirt due to the fact she didn’t have shorts. I gave her my shorts… In the very last they beat St. Lawrence palms down. But I have by no means seen her again. She might be somewhere bearing kids, but her skills are buried. So I think if the government stops wasting money on vain ventures [which I know you know] and offers more funding to us, the sky’s the restrict for Ugandan sportswomen. And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a complete girl? Yes, as long as the person appreciates that this lady loves her sport. What kills relationships is that sportswomen journey plenty. So the man has to be patient. I assume [Dorcus] Inzikuru would have won us more medals if she hadn’t given birth at that time because that becomes her peak. I want her husband became a little patient to allow her to explore her expertise completely. I use her for example because in crew sports activities [like rugby] a teammate can cover up for my weakness; however, in case you are an individual sportswoman, it’s you and yourself alone. Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho: National basketball captain Women’s sports do no longer get as an awful lot interest as the guys. The media insurance is also still low, even though this is converting in recent times. I see the media making a few loud noises about the She Cranes [the national netball team]. The other trouble is that ladies do not support every other sufficiently. You don’t locate many ladies watching girls’ rugby video games, for example, yet they are many at men’s video games. But the biggest project is terrible funding. If girls’ sports activities receive good enough budget, we’d truly be a long way. We need deliberate funding into nurturing ladies, right from primary school but many number one colleges nowadays forget about sports [which denies our children a sporting chance at their formative age]. However, there are many elite girls at club level willing to symbolize their u. S. But that itself glaringly wishes extreme investment in phrases of instruction, which we lack. We want leaders who’re passionate about ladies doing sports. Otherwise, if you most effective care approximately men, it is now not going everywhere. After all, girls’ groups were more success than men’s. And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a complete lady? Why no longer? I’m a wife, a mother, a basketballer, an entrepreneur, a version, a dancer, a logo ambassador, and many others. All girls have been born to be full women. We are all top-notch girls… It is just that we reduce ourselves short….Each woman can be a complete lady because we had been born that way. Patricia Apolot: boxer, kickboxer The biggest challenge is that fellow ladies who have made it to the top have not helped our motive. Not simplest politicians, however maximum a success ladies throughout all sectors are not representing us properly. They depart us to war on our own, and at the stop of the day, we are being taken advantage of by way of men. You see earlier than a person facilitates a lady he expects something in return. Most of the village girls I’m bringing into recreation inform me “a man brought me from the village to city promising me an activity. But achieving there he wanted to make his wife. When I resisted he asked me ‘I’m I your relative? Go returned.’ The other project is that Uganda doesn’t comprehend sportswomen; no matter how tons we conflict no one cares. The only popularity comes in [Uspa] awards, which don’t include money. But the award doesn’t position food at the desk. Then demoralizing comments. Whenever you try and do something, a few humans name it a ‘display off,’ others say ‘it’s her boyfriend supporting her.’ And while you fall, they make fun of you, and no one will pick your hand up. Generally, I fail to recognize what society, in reality, wishes us. And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a full female? Why now not? We most effective want the proper guide. I strongly trust any Ugandan; any sportswoman can succeed in any subject or issue of existence. Peninnah Kabenge (sports activities administrator) I characteristic most of the demanding situations to cultural stereotypes. Women have constantly been desired in the kitchen, but we will make a contribution to so much in all components, sports activities inclusive. That’s why the numbers are still low on the fields of play directors, officers, and so on. Due to that marginalizing cultural mentality, even ladies who strive sports activities face a hassle of lack of safe space. Example if a ladies’ team and a boys’ crew are going to apply the equal facility at the equal time, of course, the boys’ crew will be favored on the fee of the ladies. Most sports activities centers don’t have special converting rooms for women; some women have dropped out complaining about coaches who abuse them, and so on. The press also focuses more on guys’ sports activities. For a female’s story to retake the web page, the lady needs to have achieved four times the man. And can a Ugandan sportswoman be a complete woman?