Liaison Officer.

To achieve anything, you have to give everything!

One month ago I was flying back to London the next day when I received an email appointing me as a Liaison officer for the under 20 men’s East African Championship. Due to my experience in competitions especially running the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup for the last four years, this is something I’ve been waiting for, another challenge to push my limits.

Before letting you know what I decided to do, let me rewind back to last year in Dec 2018 when I was approached to do a women’s football strategy for Ugandan women’s football. Such an honour and seemed straight forward and indeed it was especially the part of writing ideas on paper, that was the easy part but the journey was incredibly hard between the period I finished the first draft till the day it was approved by the executive committee of the Ugandan Federation. Cutting this bit of the write up short, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do this year in particular having to push 110% and give everything to get 1% of something back! Call me if you want to know details. My say on this is I will never regret this decision because I have always wanted to see the best for women’s football in our country and with this the fight to develop women’s football is one step ahead.

Before that I had the 4th Edition of the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup . One of the most perfectly executed tournaments in my Edition. The fans were incredible, the players, the atmosphere and wow the guests!!! We had the Chief of Women’s Football FIFA Sarai Bareman as chief guest, Safia Abdel Dayem Head of Women’s Football Development, Dominika Netschova my teammate in Uk and Solomon Dalung former Sports & Youth development minister in Nigeria as official guests.

The most challenging part I will be open and mention, I was incredibly disappointed by the fact that amidst this struggle of running this tournament for four years in a row successfully with own salary, I got various people waiting for me after the tournament waiting to be given money just for coming to support women playing football or even members of the media asking for money for having covered the tournament and most don’t even report about it at all. Women’s game is at a rise and most people are now taking advantage to gain every little bit of money out of it from organisations supporting women playing football.

In a nut shell, this was the most challenging tournament both mentally, physically, financially, emotionally and more yet the best out of the four editions. To achieve anything you have to give everything! I have everything for this tournament to the extent that I was extremely drained in every way. The lessons I have learned out of this tournament have been second to non. The wealth of experience I have gained has been tremendous. The girls/women who have benefited from this tournament everyday motivate me to continue doing this, nor notably national team sensations Fauzia Najjemba and Nalukenge Juliet both who are on the national team of Uganda after taking part in the first edition of the tournament. Let’s see what next year holds because I am incredibly committed to see other women/girls get better and equal opportunities to became successful.

Going back, I accepted to stay in Uganda and help out on the East and Central African Football Associations Under 20, I am the CECAFA – FUFA liaison officer for the East And Central African Footbal Associations here in Jinja Uganda. I must admit it’s been one of the most interesting roles I have had to fill, I am enjoying every minute of it, despite the lack of ample preparations and clear communications from the Local Organising Committee, I have managed the situation really well, managed to fix a few problems here & there and honestly, right now there’s no where I would rather be.

This has been a long write up tho it explains why I have been really silent for the past couple of months, it’s been incredibly challenging to take in a million things that came at me all at once, I handled the situation really well and now am sure am getting out on the other side stronger, better and an incredibly hardworking, committed, reliable, responsible and a lady who can work with no supervision at all.

Author: Jean Sseninde

Forbes 30 under 30 Finalist 2019 | Footballer Uganda Women's National Team | CEO Sseninde Foundation | Founder Sseninde Women's Development Cup

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