Ayub Isiko was just two years into a successful professional football career, when a car accident in Iganga, Eastern Uganda, resulted in the amputation of his right arm.
Tackling disability stigma in Uganda
The accident ended Ayub’s flourishing career and left him with little financial or social security. Although attitudes in Uganda vary and considerable progress has been made, stigma towards those with disabilities still exist.
Just five months after the accident, Ayub decided he wanted to use his experience for good. With the help of Premier Skills coaching training, Ayub learnt how to use football as a tool to empower other disabled people and challenge the stereotype that sport was something disabled people could not participate in.
“Although I lost my arm, I believe there is a lot I can do to make a difference in this country. For example, I am now teaching 18 disabled individuals how to play football. This will help many of them come out of their shells and acquire something that can help maintain their physical fitness, teach them how to associate and raise their confidence too,” Isiko said.
Ayub’s commitment for an inclusive society also saw him launch a football training programme for girls, with a target of reaching 25 girls in the first year.
Isiko cites the opportunity to become involved with Premier Skills as a great incentive to pursue a new path in football.
More recently, he has been appointed head coach at Iganga Town Council Football Club, a team he once played for, early in his football career.
Premier Skills in Uganda ran from 2007-2016 and 2016-present as a legacy programme, reaching 1921 coaches and referees and 24,924 young people.