My Powerful Friend

‘My dream is to see women’s football in Uganda, Africa and the World reach heights its never reached before’

Who gives power?

I don’t know, I think power is in the mind. I love working hard to achieve all I want, nothing I have got right now has come easy, and occasionally I stay up till late doing assignments and laying strategies of how I can be great. By the way its just a funny saying I always tell anyone who asks me why I sleep late. When I stay awake at night I feel powerful, there’s a sense of security I feel and can do so many things or rather I achieve a during the night. I always feel the power is in my mind, Been playing football since I was 8 with my brother at home in the compound and never knew I would fall in love so much with the game. From what I recall from the first match I played I was good. I played competitive football for the first time in my high school

Football is so powerful. The things I have sacrificed for this game always remind me so much of the power of football. I have played since I was 8. That powerful man who I had to go through to make sure he lets the other girls play, what do you do? You make the sacrifice for them. When I was in high school, the only way was to bring in players on sports bursaries to the school and yes, this paragraph is blurry but its because its supposed to be. Imagine starting the team for the girls to play, more captain days with the challenges, well my mother being a Member of parliament didn’t help either. But I did my best. Every morning I have woke up I have given the very best to this sport, I have given everything.

Leaving the country for greener pastures was about hope. My life is about hope. I always want girls/ women to believe that this dream is possible. I left everything I knew at home to come to London and play soccer, but it was to give hope to other girls and for them to know that all things are possible. Signing for my first club here in London, that story will be for another day. But I stayed three seasons at Phoenix ladies in the second division and then signed for QPR in the formally known English league. I wanted to challenge myself and I did just that. The sacrifices still for staying there amongst all the good players but all in all I enjoyed my time there. I got my first national team call up and had my national team debut. Proud moment of my career.

There was a powerful friend still were to blur this had to still be my friend. I will stop there without elaborating much but what this game does to us makes me know its real. The feelings are real. There’s no day that passes by without me thinking of what I would be doing if I had no football in my life. Leaving QPR for Palace was the hardest decision I had to make but for me to go was the best thing at the time. Short lived stint, much not said its football, I love this game. It has instilled feelings of love, hatred, the tears I have had, the doubts, passion, all have been there with me every step of the way.

I decided to add a twist to my journey where so many other girls will have opportunities to play like I did. I started the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup at home under the Sseninde Foundation. My dream is to see women’s football in Uganda, Africa and the World reach heights its never reached before. Being fully professional and young girls having a chance to dream and believe in the system. The opportunities I’ve got right now I want to use them to help other girls and boys, to give them hope.

Football is a unique powerful tool. I still think it’s the biggest sport in the world. It changes lives, it makes people and it changes people. I thought about it too much and I decided to take a little break away from the sport to run the tournament this year and yes, I have enjoyed the break away from the field. Very challenging but maybe sometimes it’s necessary. Football is very powerful and it became apart of my life 24 years ago, the most powerful friend that has always been with me, I have met incredible people, made new friends, made me cry, laugh , learn and do all the hard things I’ve had to do to get here but again we would do anything to get there right? Football has always been with me and it’s so powerful, it became my silent powerful friend from which my life rotates.

Football is more than just a game, it’s a way we can all use to express ourselves and I plan to continue this journey to inspire the world and help so many players believe in their dreams.

Author: Jean Sseninde

Footballer Uganda Women's National Team & Queens Park Rangers Women| CEO Sseninde Foundation | Founder Sseninde Women's Development Cup

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