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.

AM NOT RETIRED.

“I am not the best footballer in history, but I-am unstoppable”.

You who keep writing me off, and wondering if am playing or not, let me hope this will be the best answer for you.

So my last year at QPR quarter way through the season I got a bad hamstring injury, which gave me a lot of issues, I didn’t play again till the last 5 games of the season which I played with the reserve team of course while trying to get back to full fitness.

Before I recovered I went into major depression, hated everything. The pressure I always put on myself to succeed is high so in this case I wasn’t even playing so it made things worse for me mentally and physically.

I wanted to play but couldn’t so I realised I needed to be patient and heal first in order for me to play again. It took me a lot of time to even get back the metal zeal to move on, get a football and play because I had stayed quiet about it, the fact that I wasn’t happy because I couldn’t play.

After getting back home and having a well deserved break, speaking about it with the doc, I felt better to finally move on. Cutting that whole long story short, Now I moved into my new lovely house, I’ve been so peaceful, and my one year with QPR last season in London ended.

Now after playing for London Phoenix, Crystal Palace Women and Queens Park Rangers Women, all in London for past few years,

I say goodbye to Living in London, to another area in the UK.

Am unto new beginnings, this time mentally and physically healthy. Some of you were writing me off and retiring me, I still have the passion to play and am not retired, will be the first to announce when I do.

Am Ready to put my body through hell to regain full fitness to fight for starting spot for both my team and country.

Am Jean Sseninde a determined, creative hardworking lady who plays football, runs the Sseninde Foundation as a CEO, a founder of one of the best grassroots football tournament in Africa, A Forbes Africa 30 under 30 finalist this year, Doing a UEFA B licence football coaching with the London FA, Human Resources Management & Psychology degree in the UK and soon to be a Project Manager of something really exciting with (WF).

Am just a different girl born in Uganda who is defining what a woman who plays football can became and should be like, exceedingly multi talented who will never put limits on anything they can achieve because, I may not be a legend, am not the best footballer in history, but I-am unstoppable because I have the power to achieve whatever I put my mind on to achieve.

Jean Sseninde -(The Fixer).

During The Bad Times.

Jean Sseninde, “The Fixer”

No one wants to be around you during the bad times!

I opened this blog to speak up and say out things on my mind. At times I take long to put something on mainly because I speak up from inspiration.

I have been running the Sseninde Women’s Development Cup for 3 years now and this year will be the 4th. Before I continue, let me take the opportunity to invite you for this years edition on August 24th, 2019 at Kakyeka Stadium in Mbarara, Uganda.

So continuing this story, I have had challenges, I have given everything on this road, I’ve put my career on the line, this road is very lonely I tell you this, endless sleepless nights, tears, at times mild depression, no one can understand it I guess. It’s like being on a battle field every single day. If it’s not for my incredible team, It would be hard to go on. So many people are not honest in there relationships with others.

At times people are only available when the bad times are gone, or when something to there advantage is gonna happen. Always watch out . No one should ever take you for granted.

My advise is, keep in touch with all people who matter. Be kind to others and don’t be there for your friends only during the good times. The bad times matter as well because that’s when strong friendships are built.

Amidst the real battle, fight fight fight, the only recognised place now days is number one so please fight to be the best in everything you do. The mental and physical battle, win it all. Have the right people around you.

In my case if your my friend reading this or even if your not, My name is Jean Sseninde and I fix things. I love to be there for people during the bad times mainly and help them fix the problem. So please count on me and always remember: Am

Jean Sseninde ‘The fixer’

4th Edition Sseninde Women’s Development Cup 2019

“The time is NOW”

The 4th Edition Of the Sseninde Women’s Development Football Cup 2019 is just 30 days away. The excitement is building inside me and I have a good feeling about this one. It’s the first time we are going to do it at Mbarara in Kakyeka Stadium. Looking back from 2016, wow leaps and bounds we have made.

I remember the first edition in my Maama’s office at 3am the day before the tournament busy typing team sheets, I was innocent just starting to break on the scene in the real world. Didn’t know what was coming for me four years later.

The sacrifices I’ve had to make to make sure this runs for the fourth year are just what I didn’t expect. The demand the sleepless nights and so much in between you won’t know of course. I wouldn’t have done anything without my incredible team. We started as 9 volunteers and now we are 52. Still can’t believe what’s happening at times.

Usually athletes take sport number 1 and I do as well. Can’t believe I put my career on the line for the first time in my life and I felt fulfilled. I feel my vision is clearer now. My dream is to see millions of girls get opportunities I never got and that’s going to be my fight through actions. I want to live by example.

As I continue to spend more sleepless nights, I pray and hope we continue to work together and support each other through it all. We can never be 100 percent but we can try to be the best version of what we can be because the time is NOW.

Split Second.

“Magic is created in split seconds and dreams are shuttered in split seconds”

I dreamt last night that I had no leg, in other words I was using a prosthetic leg for support to move in one of my legs. In the dream, I was wondering how I had got to that point. And also realising that there’s nothing I could do to change that fact, wishing I was in a dream so I could wake up healthy, but also realising in the dream that am not in a dream, confusing ha? In a split second, my life unexpectedly turned upside down! Confused with disbelief I had to figure out how to still be useful to others and how I was going to be the best at what I do with a prosthetic leg.

Mistakes and bad things happen to us in a split second. You lose your concentration for one second and it’s enough to change your whole life upside down. In the dream I wasn’t born walking with a prosthetic, I only got it at around 34. Good news is I woke up fine and had both my legs, phew! God is great.

This teaches me that we need to live every moment to the fullest without regret. We don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow so every second counts. Every second could change your life. Magic is created in split seconds and dreams are shuttered in split seconds therefore we need to stay concentrated and stay focused in everything we do because every split second counts.

FIFA Women’s Football Convention 2019.

“Dreams do come true, I dreamt of this moment”

Am humbled to be amongst a strong line up of speakers at the First ever FIFA Women’s Football Convention in Paris, France from June 6th to June 7th, 2019 ahead of the Eighth Edition of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Convention will assemble leaders from the world of football and politics for the first time, to discuss key issues around the development and empowerment of women in football.

Dreams do come true, I dreamt of this moment and can’t believe I have the opportunity. I am so excited and still can’t believe that I will be speaking at the first ever Women’s Football Convention. Women football growth is one of the key issues I’ve been so vocal about, what an honour this is! Still can’t put it into words.

Will be speaking about empowerment through football and education of women and girls around the World.

Follow all action live on FIFA TV https://www.youtube.com/user/FIFATV and FIFA YouTube channel.

What I Missed Out Doesn’t Matter.

“Life for me is not about being comfortable anymore”

Looks like everyone of my old classmates is getting married yet on my side, I feel my priorities have changed from the 21 year old who fancied to get married and have kids.

My priorities are now to be a great woman of purpose to the world. For now am focused on working to learning as much as I can and developing. Hopefully everyone else has gone through this stage in their life. There’s a way sport makes you obsessed to succeed and other things become second options.

My life has been in stages, I wonder if everyone of you is just like me? At the age of 8 – 16, I never had clear opportunities to anything. My only passion was football which was a sport for the boys then. Should have learned more at my golden age but I don’t regret anymore of what I should have had then because I had no opportunities, it was out of my control and I understand that now. I stopped looking at how things should have been in the past, what I missed out doesn’t matter. I now concentrate on making the future great because it’s the only thing have power to change.

17 – 21, Age of school and adolescence, figuring out life, I don’t remember much apart from studying around that age. At 22-24, I felt I wanted kids, don’t know why I did,thinking of it now feels so awkward.

At 25- 26, am now not ashamed of who I-am anymore. I trust I have the power to be great and I understand I have to work very hard to achieve even half of the things I want to achieve. Am determined, I have to push my limits. Life for me is not about being comfortable anymore. I want to be successful and leave an impact in people’s hearts.