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’

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.

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.

Creating For Women

”dear rich friends and those who are able to“

Hope your all well? I’ve been extra busy multi-tasking between playing football, managing the Sseninde Foundation, coaching kids and recently took on some continuous professional development courses to sharpen my brain even a lot more. I must admit it’s been incredibly tough, but I’ve adjusted very well. Within this short space of time, I’ve acquired more transferable soft skills that am excited to share with everyone.

For those of you have have been keeping tabs on me am sure you know on March 8th 2019, we launched the #CreatingForWomen campaign. This campaign is about supporting young girls to continue their education combining it with playing football in school.

According to the UNESCO Global education monitoring report in 2017, 264 million girls around the world don’t go to school! On the side of football, millions of girls love to play football and have a passion for the game but don’t get opportunities to play. Of course, this has it’s countless reasons and that’s why this campaign was formed so we could tackle some of these issues. We want to get more girls to play football and also support or help create opportunities where possible for girls to have access to a good education.

Myself and the Sseninde Foundation with which am a director pledged to Visit 10 different districts, 10 schools, support 10 women towards their footballing journey and help create 10 education opportunities for girls to continue with their education.

We kicked off this campaign with Kidde Primary School in Kasangati located in Wakiso district. I hear it’s one of the largest districts in Uganda I don’t know right now if it still is.There was no better place to start the campaign than my home town where it all started. It was the most perfect day. Lots of girls had fun and more importantly took the important message my team passed onto them,“Education is as important as playing football in school”

This campaign is more than just a campaign to me and has a personal meaning attached to it. Will leave that for another day but if you can’t wait, your welcome to contact my agent for an interview.

We are looking forward to visiting the next 9 districts, getting more girls to play football in schools and creating more educational opportunities for girls around the world because I believe,

“Education is one of the greatest investments, It will always have profits in abundance”

“Football can help girls speak up, stay healthy and make friends”

With all that said, dear rich friends and those who are able to, if there’s any way you can support this campaign so we can reach out to even more girls than the ones our Foundation pledged (10), in form of cash, scholastic materials, sports equipment and others to help girls gain access to a good education and play football you’re more than welcome:)

Seasons Greetings

’Merry Christmas to you all’.

The year has been a wild wind, one of my best years in terms of achievement starting with a lot of paces. Haven’t finished with the same gear but lessons learned. One of the years I’ve watched my self grow and see glimpses of what I could be in the future. It’s not gonna come easy and I know that but am ready to give my best. For now let me leave you to enjoy the Christmas meal. Am happy to spend this one with Mum and Dad. Merry Christmas to you all.

Learning to Speak

’The woman I’ve become is someone not afraid to speak up’

Tactics and technics are all I’ve studied this year. I like being the best at everything I do and what a year I’ve had so far. I have learnt that we all have plans but God puts a final stamp for all to happen. Growing up in Uganda I will say I wasn’t as bold as I am now. Moving to the UK has changed me so much and maybe more than a little for the better.

I have learnt to speak up and not to say nonsense but to use everything I have to create change and do the right thing. I have learnt to be bold and ask for what I want without fear. I have learnt to say No to the things I don’t deserve and I still wonder at times how I got to be this bold.

I keep imagining the things I could have had but lost because I was too scared to ask. Now days seems as though you can’t get anything from someone who is not a friend or who doesn’t know you so will say I have learnt to make a lot of friends. (It’s important to have as many friends and contacts as you can my fellow friends) It’s becoming a necessity or you will forever not be seen. Seems as tho the people walking the road to greatness are all in the same circle of friends. But that’s just my view. If you left out, get your own microphone and speak up. Use all the platforms you have to send your message to the world however much they see you as mad and irritating. Always try to find the right balance of everything you do so you don’t put people off but same time you give them enough.

Right now am into the real world and the thought of becoming something great is fascinating me more every day. The woman I’ve become is someone not afraid to speak up. I won’t lie at times am still scared of saying certain things just like one would have a conscience but am not the shy Ugandan girl anymore. I want to speak at the world stage and inspire so many young girls and boys out there in the world. Football changed my life and however much I have a love-hate relationship with it in terms of playing it, my love to use football to change lives has always been more than just love.

Silent Stars

‘Everyone else was seeing random girls having a go at playing the game in a small setting but for me, I was seeing future stars in the making’

I can’t believe it’s been years since I had this dream to see numerous girls Inspired to play football, Of course, I’ve always told my story of how I started playing at eight years old. I didn’t have the opportunity to any quality coaching or a chance of playing in any competitive match at an early age. I didn’t even know anyone to look up to who had succeeded In the footballing world in my country Uganda. well, I guess they were there but I didn’t know of any at the time. It’s not like nowadays where young girls have a lot of role models to look up to for example the USA where the Women’s National Soccer team players like Alex Morgan, Carly Lloyd are home stars. Many other countries have role models in the Women’s game name in Australia Sam Kerr who the young girls are madly in love with, England Steph Houghton, few African players like Janine Van Wyk from South Africa and Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala who has been consistent since breaking through and is a three-time African player of the year. These are stars well known around the world and their success is an inspiration to the young girls to show them that football is more than just a game and can change their lives.

A Subject extremely close to my heart, After having visited a lot of communities for a few years, I realised that there is a lot of desire for the game. These players are silent stars that no one had seen yet or even given the opportunity.

So I come up with the idea of a tournament for the girls to play for the first time and experience what the game is like. This has been the most rewarding experience not just for the players bpassions all who are involved. The Sseninde women’s development cup is the tournament we started to give a chance to the women to play football and express themselves. The feeling I had in my heart seeing the girls play in the First game of the tournament during the first edition I can’t explain it till today, I couldn’t believe that the dream had come to life.

The fact that a number of girls get opportunities from this tournament is rewarding for example, after the first Edition of the tournament, some girls got opportunities to education after being spotted by various institutions, schools and universities. Others were selected for the Uganda Woman Elite League. Our biggest testimony so far is Nalukenge Juliet who is currently playing on the Uganda Women’s National Football Team and participated in our first Edition of the tournament.

I look back now and I remember we had invited some dignitaries in the footballing community who never turned up for the first edition, they were probably thinking there’s no point taking time out to come and see young girls running with a ball. Everyone else was seeing random girls having a go at playing the game in a small setting but for me, I was seeing future stars in the making. Currently, we have hosted three Editions and the emotions I see in these girls is what keeps me wanting to do this year after year.

Doesn’t go without saying that this has been one of the biggest platforms for me to speak out to the girls through my actions and show them how football can change their lives. Is it not funny that I have failed to give a proper speech for three years in a row however much I have prepared? I have failed to express my words in a speech. Maybe this project means so much to me and I end up failing to communicate through words and a lot easier through my actions. I have seen teams who have come with players that had never even played a football game before but currently have developed so much. My aim is to see the number of girls playing football increasing and for them to know how special this game is.

we’ve seen girls who are stars participate In this tournament but no one had ever given them a chance to play, these are silent stars who are looking for opportunities, they have a passion for the for the Game but don’t know where to start. The tournament is not just about winning trophies alone. It’s about giving a chance to women with dreams but without opportunities and with that I mean the young referees, female photographers, volunteers and others around the game who want to be involved in one way or another.

It’s about empowering women to have a voice and to stand up for what’s right, to inspire others and to have the values of football in their heart. Not being able to officiate in a World Cup or to play in the top league of your country doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. We are the Silent Stars the world is yet to see. Living in today and fighting off all the challenges that are never-ending.

To the young girls who have participated in the tournament and those who haven’t got the opportunity yet to play but have endless passion, to the team of volunteers that have been with us from edition one up to now, you are my greatest stars of all time.

HOPE

‘Never underestimate the power which you can get from believing and having having hope’

Do you ever think about how many things we imagine in one day? I will tell you a story , seven years ago I decided to leave everything that I knew to move to a new country for a better life , to build a career that I always imagined in my head . There is always no guarantee that when you decide to do something it’s gonna happen, I think I Have always just had self believe that when I imagine things in my head they are going to happen. I didn’t know what to expect, I was alone and 17 at the time and I’m embarrassed to say that it was the first time I had even stepped on a plane to travel. I was more excited than scared to start a new journey where I could build my dreams from the scratch.

I had no guarantee that moving to a Foreign land would get me to live the life I imagined in my head at the time but I had hope because I knew that I was going to fight for everything that I dreamt of . Years later I’m still building a strong base to my career , isn’t it so funny to believe that after such a long time I’m still going ? but it’s because I have hope that I will reach where I’m going. Never underestimate the power which you can get from believing and having having hope.

Imagine all these years I’m still going and I’m happy because every day is different, I learn something new every day, I get something to make me happy every day even just by thinking of something nice in my head. And I have hope that one day all the hard work will pay off , now that doesn’t mean that it’s all going to happen but the hope that I have keeps me going every day and I will never give up.

Let’s continue to live a life where we believe and do things that impact other peoples lives to give them hope that something good can come out of the life we are leaving, that we are all important and equal. We shall all live a life that we have imagined in our heads one day if we believe and have hope.

Unexpected Twist

‘I want to see the younger girls who dream of achieving more in this sport reach greater heights’

They are so many of us in the world who have dreams and at times we go through ups and downs . Am not sure why for me sometimes it seems as though there more downs than ups? Sometimes I wonder if it’s our own making or not? What’s life nway?

Look am learning to be happy in my skin, to see what I can do better and what am good at best , to think a lot smarter and be more patient with life. Sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves to much and became crying babies, but every time I feel low I remember their are 1000s of kids in the world who are hungry and haven’t eaten for days, someone who was born blind and has never seen their loved ones, or someone who has a passion to play sport but has never walked at all. We need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and get to work.

We need to show the world our purpose. Let’s always work without expecting recognition, sometimes personal satisfaction is the best reward you can ever get. I think I have been to greedy, I have dreamt of playing football my entire life And it’s all I ever wanted. I have given up a lot to be able to play and its been a lot of sacrifices to say the least . I never expected to ever lose this first love of playing football to instead wanting to help other girls to play it and rise to greater heights , every time I look back at this life of mine and football I wonder what a twist it has been ! I have represented my national team and that was one of my biggest dreams in this sport. Now I want to do more, I want to see the younger girls who dream of achieving more in this sport reach greater heights. Even if that means costing me my playing career I feel I want to do more because it’s just my heart, it’s what makes me happy and It’s my new dream and am happiest when am in the field on ground inspiring these girls to play football

So my message today is there maybe tough times in your life right now and you don’t know what you gonna do, but take one day at a time and don’t worry much about tomorrow . Tomorrow will take care of it’s self ,And besides we never know what tomorrow holds so we should utilise today and live it like there’s no tomorrow and do exactly what makes us happy and feel useful to the world instead of feeling sorry for ourselves .