International Rugby: Female referee making strides in Uganda
Rugby may be a male-dominated sport in Uganda but it has found some space for women. Leading the way is a lady called Saudah Adiru who has been officiating matches for 7 years and is now keen on helping others follow in her footsteps. CGTN's Leon Ssenyange reports.
Saudah Adiru is savouring time as a female rugby referee.
The desire to take up the whistle only came after a successful playing career.
That was seven years ago.
SAUDAH ADIRU RUGBY REFEREE "It was a simple start. I was first a TJ then, the ones called assistant referees now. I did it like for three years and then started doing championship games."
Now an internationally recognised referee, Adiru has had to overcome barriers to get where she is.
SAUDAH ADIRU RUGBY REFEREE "It has been tough. Being a female and refereeing male games is not easy. It takes some good courage to go in there and make the right calls."
Adiru admits there has been a lot of hard work put in to soar the heights.
She has also developed a thick skin along the way.
LEON SSENYANGE KAMPALA, UGANDA "Adiru's confidence to persevere in the sport has earned her a lot of respect. She says she wants to use her success to carve out a way for other female referees to make it in the game."
Racheal Kakaire is one of many females following suit.
There is no shortage of inspiration for her.
RACHEAL KAKAIRE RUGBY ASSISTANT REFEREE "I have role models like Saudah and I want to get where she is. That is my target."
With more female participation, has come more demands to find opportunities.
For Adiru, there is more off the pitch to look forward to.
SAUDAH ADIRU RUGBY REFEREE "My target is really to be on the Fifteens panel, the world women's panel. It's a long journey."
For now with her feet still firmly at the centre, Adiru is more than confident to keep calling the shots knowing her best years are ahead.