Ruth Ayugi, Female Sports Access Initiative

Participants from the Female Sports Initiative participate in a football game.

Lira, Uganda is home to many football (soccer) fans and talented players. One will often find that many of the players in Lira, as in the rest of the country, are male. Due to cultural expectations and deeply rooted traditions, Ruth Ayugi encountered many challenges during her journey as a soccer player, coach and referee. This gave her the fuel to start the Female Sports Access Initiative, a one of a kind group of female footballers who works to empower and advocate for gender equality in sports.

In November 2014 Ruth and her organization received a $1,000 seed grant that gave them the opportunity to create awareness projects on gender equality in football through radio, dramas, newspapers and community engagement opportunities. As a recipient of a $300 flow fund, they will be able to expand their work by training more women in soccer and in HIV education. The group will continue to utilize the radio opportunities, as they have seen the positive impact it has on the greater community.

“By advocating for gender-based access to sports and other basic necessities in life, such as education and health, we bridge the racial and ethnic divides and stereotypes, empower youth, foster social skills, and create opportunities in soccer and education.”

For more information on Female Sports Access Initiative, please see their Facebook or website.

East Africa Hub Grant