Girls Kick It: Sarah’s Story

By Catherine Rodie

(Photography by Fran Meckler)
(Photography by Fran Meckler)
Uganda's Girls Kick It is a charity uniting women through football. Sarah Angwech is one of its greatest successes.

Sarah Angwech is one of Girls Kick It’s greatest successes. Although Sarah was born in Gulu, in Uganda’s war-torn north, she grew up in the capital city, Kampala. But when her parents died of AIDS she was forced to return to Gulu with her younger siblings, for whom she was responsible. She was 12 years old.

Sarah was one of the first girls to sign up to Girls Kick It and was soon appointed captain.

“Sarah’s experiences with the war and her parents’ death have given her exceptional critical thinking skills,” says Girls Kick It founder, Anna Philips. “She has a unique ability to find solutions to problems, both with the team and in the lives of players. Her charisma and leadership skills demand the respect of both men and women.”

Soccer has made a big difference to Sarah’s life. “Playing soccer makes me feel happy and healthy. It has also built my confidence and given me faith that I am able to do the things I thought I couldn’t do. Playing soccer makes it easy for me to relate to my teammates – we have become close friends,” she says.

Sarah became the recipient of the first Girls Kick It scholarship, which enabled her to finish high school. She is currently studying nursing at university and hopes to specialise in emergency medicine.

Despite being dedicated to her studies, Sarah says that Girls Kick It remains close to heart. She is now a soccer coach and works with the girls to improve their skills on and off the pitch. “I educate the girls about the importance of team work during soccer sessions,” she says. “I am also educating and sensitising the girls about HIV and AIDS.”

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