Upper Nile To Support Women In Sports

A girl practising basketball at Malakal Stadium. [Ariik Atekdit]

The Director of Sports Department, Elijah Changkuoth Malek said, “Many girls and women of sport interest practice in the ministry in order to develop their talents. We have girls in volleyball, basketball, football and other sport teams. We have some coaches for them.”

Changkuoth said the door is opened for girls in the state to turn up for sport activities and practices at the state Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth.

Changkuoth said his department has discovered that many young girls have interest in all kind of the sports including football.

He said the practices are opened in afternoon and closed everyday at 6 pm.

“I want to ask the parents and the relatives of the girls to allow them for practises. The girls are under protection. We release them in the evening to their houses. Parents should not be afraid,” he noted.

Changkuoth said that women sport only got its high support after the independence of South Sudan especially in football.

“South Sudan has created women representation in all ten states football unions. We are doing this to support them and to make them know that they can do it well like men,” Changkuoth added.

Changkuoth said there are already about four women teams in football in Upper Nile state.

He said there are two coaches training the women football teams at Malakal Stadium.

Because of cultural interferences, Changkuoth said women football teams are still behind and need a lot of support and development.

“There is a great difference between the boy’s football teams and the women’s. Our girls are afraid and they don’t have that cultural freedom to follow their talents independently. Yet we believe they still can be developed and encouraged to practise to own that talent,” Changkuoth concluded.

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