“I wish to congratulate all winners of tonight’s awards. I thank you for the great spirit of sportsmanship, hard work, teamwork, commitment..."
Allan Okello and Juliet Nalukenge hope their Airtel-FUFA Male and Female Player of the Year Awards can inspire many upcoming youngsters into working hard to achieve the same.
The two players were crowned Saturday night at Speke Resort Munyonyo at a colourful awards gala presided over by former Makerere University Chancellor Professor Mondo Kagonyera who represented the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni.
Okello beat KCCA FC teammate Mustafa Kizza and Proline FC creative midfielder Bright Anukani to the top award that came with a brand new Subaru Forester car and sh1m.
On her part, Nalukenge edged FUFA Women Elite League’s and Kampala Queen’s Fauzia Najjemba and UCU Lady Cardinals’ Hasifa Nassuna to also bag the same awards. The losing nominees each took home sh500, 000/- each.
“It is a great honour for me to be here today. Last year I was beaten to the award, but here I am. I want to thank all my coaches and most especially coach Abdallah Mubiru for picking me from Kibuli SS and special thanks to Coach Mike Mutebi for giving an opportunity to young players to play,” Okello said.
“I and Kizza have come a long way from the Under-17 team and now to here. I thank God for this and I dedicate it to my late mum and dad; thanks for bringing me up, may their souls rest in peace,” an emotional Okello said after he picked his award from Kagonyera.
Later he added: “I hope I can inspire more young players and I advise them to continue working hard until their time comes; because when it comes they can then take it from there,”
Nalukenge thanked FUFA and Airtel for giving an opportunity for girls to expose their talents.
“I’m so happy for this award, thank you so much. I would like to thank the federation for exposing our talent outside Uganda and I thank my fans and my teammates for the support. I’m glad that I’m a product of the Airtel Rising Stars,”
“Great thanks to my coach Ayub Khalifa. I advise the youngsters to continue working hard and love their talents but remain disciplined in whatever they do,” Nalukenge stated.
Okello and Nalukenge were also both named in the best first elevens of the season.
In her speech read by Kagonyera, the First Lady said the awards were key in motivating and encouraging young players to work even harder to achieve higher and it attracts others to join football.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports appreciates the level of engagement that football has provided to millions of youth and other people to develop their talents and also engage in income-generating activities in sports-related areas such as the Hotel, Transport, Media, Apparels manufacturing industries among others,” she stated.
She thanked Airtel for sponsoring the awards since 2014, commending them for their very good Corporate Social Responsibility. She also commended FUFA for the transparency exhibited in coming up with winners of the various categories which she said will ensure continued support for the awards and football.
“I wish to congratulate all winners of tonight’s awards. I thank you for the great spirit of sportsmanship, hard work, teamwork, commitment to achieve that has brought you so far up to receiving these awards tonight.
“As clearly illustrated in the parable of the talents in Mathew Chapter 25, God has given each one of us gifts and talents, and when we put them to use, there is a reward for us. Therefore as winners tonight you’ll surely not be the same person you have been. Your awards should encourage you to do even better and excel more,” the First Lady stated.
“Winners should be role models, appreciate parents and officials’ guidance, avoid destructive lifestyles and inspire others,”
She thanked FUFA for their central role in football development and applauded Airtel for their support towards sports and football in particular and urged them to consider working with the ministry to promote school sporting activities.
FUFA president Moses Magogo thanked the government for the financial support that they extend to the federation but urged them to invest in football pitches as it was now the missing link in even growing the game further.
Kagonyera also advised the footballers and sportsmen, in general, to always work hard if they were to benefit from sport.
Best Squad (Club/National Team) of a particular year.
Proline’s Shafik Bisaso and Ayub Khalifa took the male and female coaches of the year awards.
All top awardees cashed in sh1m each with the runners up taking home sh500, 000/- each.
Airtel-FUFA Awardees 2019
Male Player of the Year
Female Player of the Year
FUFA Presidential Award
Late Magid Musisi
Coach of the Year
Women Football Coach of the Year
Best Squad (Club/National Team) of a particular year
Cranes 1978 squad
Beach Soccer Player of the Year
FUFA Fair Play Award
Upcoming Talent Award
Garvin Kizito Mugweri
Fans Favourite Foreign Based Player
FUFA Member Association Award
Uganda Beach Soccer Association
Team Fans of the Year