To finish my overview of youth football in Uganda, I’d like to highlight some huge positives. Ugandans’ knowledge of their favourite English clubs and players is incredible, as is their keenness to play football.
One of the aspects of our coaching that has pleased me most is how eager the girls have been to participate. Culturally, we weren’t sure whether this would be accepted so asked the advice of VU’s Ugandan staff and the schools themselves but were extremely pleasantly surprised by the outcome. We often gave the girls the option of playing separately, but I can honestly only remember one session where they took up our offer. In most cases, particularly with the younger children, the girls gave as good as they got!
While speaking of the keenness of Ugandans to play football, it would be remiss of me not to mention the sterling work carried out by organisations such as those with whom we have linked up. Both Kampala Kids League and Uganda Youth Football League provide the young people of this amazing country the opportunity to play organised football which they might not have otherwise. And of course Volunteer Uganda has partnered with Arsenal, bringing us coaches here to improve young people’s football ability as well as teaching them other important skills such as teamworking, communication, health and fitness. It is also our responsibility to ensure they have fun whilst nurturing their huge passion for the game.