No obstacle was going to stop Regina Lunyolo to excel in rugby. The former national team rugby player and later administrator has led the charge to build a professional environment for budding female stars in sports through awareness.
Lunyolo, an advocate for women in sport and proprietor of Sport Women Connect, will host the first Women and Sports Conference at Makerere University on Saturday with the aim of ‘strengthening stakeholder engagement in strategic leadership for women in sports’.
“I always felt there was something to prove. My peers ridiculed me referring to me as a tomboy while my family was never supportive during games,” said Lunyolo, who will host the ‘Women Taking the Lead’ panel. “If I can, definitely other women can too.
World Athletics Council member Beatrice Ayikoru, Finnish-based basketball player Claire Lamunu, UN Women Deputy Country Representative Adekemi Ndieli, Rugby Africa vice president Andrew Owor, and women football commentator Shafic Mutebi will constitute the panel group discussing supportive leadership in sport for women.
No longer minority
“Women cannot continue being the minority in sports. We aim at sharing ideas on how to progress their mandate in their respective sporting areas and gain a united voice to address issues that work against them,” Lunyolo, the Chairperson of the Uganda women’s rugby advisory committee and committee member for gender equality and diversity commission of the Uganda Olympic Committee, said. For Lunyolo, awareness is a key issue for promoting active athletes into leadership roles.
“Women should think about their potential as sportsmen,” she added.
She believes that having a larger number of women in leadership roles helps breed a generation of athletes who are comfortable and happy.
The day-long event is organised by Association of Uganda University Sports (AUUS), Score Beyond, Sports Women Connect Foundation, A1 Challenge and Makerere University.