MBALE – There is a remarkable increase in the number of female runners in the country – Uganda Athletics Federation – UAF, has observed – insisting that the country had witnessed an upsurge in the number of female players since 2005.
UAF noted that there were currently over 200 female athletes in the country comprising the elites and upcoming.
Francis Demayi – the National Coach of the UAF attributed the development to the establishment of clubs and training camps – providing an opportunity for female athletes to showcase their talents.
“The increased number of training camps and international Sports agencies in Uganda for example – Rossa Sports Agency; Global sports communication management and others, combined with the recent success story of female athletes has played a significant role in inspiring others,” he said. Demayi noted that the innovation of rewarding excelling female athletes had equally contributed to the increment in numbers.
Demayi advised that there was a need for sports promoters and the federation to give priority to female runners in terms of social support and education.
Grace Chesang – the UAF national female coach said that the existence of coaches had helped in spotting, mentoring, and nurturing of talents – particularly female athletes.
“When I started running in the early 90s, coaching was a challenge and you could just do what you thought was right at a particular moment,” said Chesang.
Peruth Chemutai – the 3000m steeplechase Tokyo Olympics gold medallist said that the success of some male athletes like Stephen Kiprotich and Moses Kipsiro had inspired her to athletics.
“When I watched Stephen Kiprotich win gold at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, I admired to be like him at one point and that’s how I joined athletics,” said Chemutai.
Joshua Cheptegei – the reigning 10,000m and 5000m World record holder, said it was the right time to safeguard the Girl child from early marriages and enhance the number of female coaches in the region to help ladies remain in the sport for a long time.
The 2022 Tokyo Olympics games saw the number of female athletes raise from one to 12. This was the biggest number of female athletes sent by Uganda to the Olympic Games since making their first appearance in 1956 in Melbourne, Australia.