Uganda Martyrs Women FC has emerged winner in the TotalEnergies EP Uganda 2023 Buliisa Football mini league after defeating Nyamukuta Women FC 1-0 to win the pioneer women’s league trophy.
Sheila Tingira scored the winning goal in the game that was played at Ndandamire Primary School playground.
On the side of men, Bugoigo Leopards FC topped after beating Paraa Simba FC by 2-0 qualifying for the trophy. Their winning goals were scored by Sony Odong and Living Kabon.
The winning teams bagged home a cash prize of Shs4m each.
TotalEnergies awarded other smaller prizes and certificates to the winner teams and individual players in descending order.
Ninety-six teams participated in this year’s mini league in Buliisa district including 26 women teams that broke the history of none participation in this league organised by TotalEnergies, the developer of the Tilenga oil project.
The oil company worked in partnership with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and the Buliisa District Football Association (DFA).
Representing Kitara FUFA, Patrick Kunihira, the chairman for referees in Kitara region hailed TotalEnergies for lifting football in Buliisa and urged the company to continue engaging women in football so that they can compete at international level.
“Talents in ladies as far as football is concerned have not been fully considered especially in the Bunyoro region yet we have talents. But when we see a company like TotalEnergies organising women tournaments, we need to embrace them as football and political leaders. And for the tournament to benefit the locals, there is need for continuous engagement and football experts need to be involved such that they can source talents who can be promoted,” he said.
Fred Lukumu, the Buliisa district local government chairman, encouraged the people of Buliisa to continue with the sports spirit noting that the activity is a source of employment in this contemporary world where there is galloping unemployment.
“Sports is one of the most productive activities we have in this world and as people of Buliisa, we need to embrace such tournament because it is where our young brothers and sisters can be spotted by other big clubs and as leaders of Buliisa district, we are much determined to promote this tournament,” he said.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the mini league, Mazen Abi-Azar who represented TotalEnergies EP Uganda, congratulated the teams upon participation saying that TotalEnergies is committed to promoting talents through supporting such sports activities.
Caroline Namyalo, the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at TotalEnergies, said all sub-counties in Buliisa district presented football teams for this 2023 tournament adding that for the last 10 years, the oil giant has been organising this mini league.
She said through this, many young talents have been spotted by big football clubs in the country.
Namyalo said the company organises this tournament to ensure that the youth especially girls are kept busy in order not to engage in acts like early marriages that lead them to dropping out school.
The Buliisa district woman Member of Parliament, Norah Bigirwa Nyendwoha, appreciated TotalEnergies for promoting talent in Buliisa in particular and Bunyoro region in general.
She underscored the importance of sports activities saying they create unity, peace, cooperation and good health. She appealed to TotalEnergies to continue promoting talents.
The Buliisa County Member of Parliament, Allan Atugonza who was the chief guest, congratulated TotalEnergies for financing such activities in the district saying they go a long way towards promoting unity and talents among the youths.
He called for joint efforts among leaders and corporate companies in the Bunyoro region to promote football in the region and help the talented youth reach greater heights.