Ayikoru, a former athlete is also a member of the powerful World Athletics Council and Principal Youth Officer at Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
UAF Secretary-General Beatrice Ayikoru challenges women to take up leadership in sports
Uganda Athletics Federation Secretary General Beatrice Ayikoru has challenged women in sports to take up leadership positions.
She made the remarks while delivering a keynote address at the ‘Women in Rugby Leadership Workshop’ organized on the sidelines of the ongoing Rugby Africa Women’s Cup hosted in Kampala with Uganda pooled with Zambia and Kenya.
The tournament is the first phase of the Women’s XVs Rugby World Cup for Africa.
Addressing the national team players, Ayikoru noted that there is a deficit of women in leadership positions in sports and urged the women to prepare themselves adequately for life off the pitch.
“In all federations we face the inequalities against women. We’ve made wide strides forward in building capacity, beating stereotypes, and cultural beliefs. We are now past that stage”.
She warned rugby players that leadership is a not a walk in the park.
“Positions in the executive committees is very limited but there are several positions in the structure of sports. At the club level, refereeing, in schools, coaching, technical departments…leadership is about being in position of taking decisions”.
“You must interest yourselves in how the federations operate. If you don’t have the knowledge and passion for the sport and not resilient enough, you will not break the barrier”, she added.
Abigail Kawonza, a Zim- Excom member and referee reiterated the statements made by Ayikoru urging women to back up their passion with education.
“Passion will get you the job but not to sit at the table. You must equip yourself with knowledge and back it up with certificates. Go for the trainings and let your certificates speak for itself”.
Camilyne Owour, the Kenya Lionesses Team Manager and two-time Olympian urged the women to stick to their values.
“Most of us think we have to go behind the curtains to please the men to take up leadership. I firmly believe that anything a man can do, a woman can do better”.
Uganda Rugby Union president Godwin Kayangwe urged the women to believe in themselves and perform well to attract partners and sponsorships.
“Ladies are not a special interest group. Take it out of your minds and believe that you can do it. Make consistence part of your agenda and more people will come to support”.
“We need to win because people want to be associated with winners. This is the first year we got a main sponsor for women’s rugby and as leaders, we have to continuously lobby”.
The workshop was held under the theme; “Challenging inequalities and influencing change in rugby”.