The rapid growth of the women's game will be recognised at this year's Airtel-FUFA Football Awards with two new categories, a prize for the best female coach and the selection of a Women's best XI.
Now in their fifth year, the awards will be held at Speke Resort Munyonyo on December 14. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, Fufa's third vice president applauded the role women football is playing in transforming the general landscape of football.
"Fufa is certain that women football is making positive strides and recognising their efforts with more categories this year is a key highlight. Our female national teams are tremendous, so I cannot think of a better moment to introduce these new awards," Nakiwala said.
"It is yet another step in the right direction to raise the profile of women's football," she added. In addition to these two additions, the awards were boosted by the introduction of three other categories including, best squad (club or national team) of a particular year, Fufa member associations' award and the Fans of the Year in Fufa events, bringing the total number of categories to 14, with male and female versions of best player, top coach, best goalkeeper and best XIs, the last of those being decided by a vote of coaches, captains and fans.
Three-time winner of the Coach of the Year award Mike Mutebi of KCCA and Maroons' tactician Douglas Bamweyana attended the launching ceremony at Serena Hotel and sang praises of the awards.
Mutebi, who has transformed KCCA's approach by putting trust in the youths, said these awards are a big motivation. "If you are the best, you win over and over," Mutebi said of his dominance. Only Farida Bulega has beaten Mutebi to the accolade in 2015.
"It motivates our players to work hard, they will play pro soccer one day but the professionalism starts here. The awards have motivated the players and us (coaches) to do more. A 19-year-old winning a car makes him rich and that comes from hard work," he added.
Uganda Cranes head coach Jonathan McKinstry stressed that awards the world over are controversial but celebrating the success players have brought remains the ultimate joy.