The #FootballPeople weeks is the largest global campaign to celebrate diversity and tackle discrimination in football, and this year’s event took place between 8th and 22nd October. For two weeks in October, the Fare Network aims to reach 150,000 people taking part in events in over 60 countries to bring about positive social change in and through football. The weeks unite grassroots groups, clubs, supporters, NGOs, and communities affected by exclusion across the globe to eradicate discrimination in the game. They all organize events and activities during the period. This year, Soccer Without Borders Uganda joined in. Below is a recap of the start of this event from SWB Uganda’s very own Coach Jerry:
We are very excited to participate in the global FootballPeople weeks this year. Soccer Without Borders Uganda, in coordination with Makindye District Football Association (MADFA), a branch of the Federation of Ugandan Football, is running a five-day beginner referee course for 20 refugee youth. This training aims to equip our participants with the laws of football, and also create opportunities for 15 of our female participants (and 5 boys) to learn more about football and act as role models for the younger girls in the community.
Our participants are very excited to learn from two former Uganda national-level referees and one current international FIFA Referee badge holder. It is such a great opportunity for our young people to connect with such high profile professionals from the football world.
After three full days of training, the commitment and passion that these young people showed throughout the sessions is impressive. They are really eager to learn more about football and begin working as referees for youth events in Kampala. It is really important to mention that the Makindye division of Kampala, where SWB is located, currently has only three female referees. We are looking forward to creating more opportunities for our young women and girls to officiate local community matches, youth leagues and tournaments. Hopefully their enthusiasm and professionalism will inspire more girls from both the Ugandan and Refugee communities to follow their lead and get more involved in the game of football.