Meet the Interns
Name: Mildred Gamba
“It means the world to me to be given the opportunity to be part of the WCIP.”
Mentor Coach: Nalis Bigingo
Current Occupation: Head of physical education, Rainbow International School; sprint coach, Tartan Burners Athletics Club
Games Responsibilities: Mildred will work closely with her mentor coach, which will enable her to gain experience and insight into the full-time coaching role. She will have a supervising role at the warm-up track, attend technical meetings, manage kit distribution with the team manager, assist the team manager with all paperwork, and attend the daily briefing of athletes.
Athletic Background: Mildred remains an active athlete, competing in 100 metres, 200 metres, and long jump. Her goal is to break the national records in 100 metres and 200 metres before retiring. Running has always been a part of her life; she became formally involved in sport through school. She represented Uganda at the 2015 All Africa Games, the 2015 World Islamic Games, the Africa 2010 Senior Championships, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Coaching: When Mildred started an athletics club with fellow runners in 2014, a coach was needed, especially to work with the younger generation, so she accepted the challenge. Uganda lacks specialised coaches so she would like to offer sprinters and jumpers high-quality training that will prepare them for better career and scholarship opportunities. Her former coach, Noah Ssengendo, provided Mildred with guidance and urged her to learn to self-coach and she now uses herself to test her training programme. Her goal is to produce runners who have excellent technique, are mentally strong, know their strengths and weaknesses, and never give up no matter how tough the situation. Frustrations include being “undermined and expected to know less” because she is a woman. She notes that women are chosen for head coach positions only when girls are on the team and lack opportunities to enhance their knowledge. She stays connected through emails and social media, which she describes as “the latest trend in communication”.
Coaching Track and Field (United States Track and Field)
Advanced Diploma in Sports Administration, Uganda Olympic Committee
Post-graduate certificate in Education, Nottingham University
Post-graduate diploma in Education, Kampala International University
Physical Education degree, Drake University
Importance of the WCIP: “It means the world to me to be given the opportunity to be part of the WCIP. I expect to be able to share knowledge with trained and experienced coaches and also get further training to develop my young coaching career. Mentoring gives me the opportunity talk to and interact with the best coaches in the world. It is also important to develop networking as this keeps me in touch with people who can help to further my career.”
After Gold Coast: Mildred will be trained to deliver the Level 1 coaching course at her club with the support of the Uganda Athletics Federation. This will enhance capacity building, especially targeting female athletes, which is currently lacking. She will be registered for coaching courses to train her as a sprints coach and will be slowly integrated into the national coaching system through assignments to regional teams. She plans to continue coaching the two 13-year-olds she is currently working with as well as several older athletes. Another plan is to train active athletes as coaches when they retire from competition and to develop community coaching. She will help as many women as possible, but also men, because coaches are much needed in Uganda.
Commonwealth Connections: “The Commonwealth Games are a good stepping stone for athletes to become world bests. To coach at the Games is a dream come true. I want to be an international coach and getting this opportunity at the beginning of my career is exceptional.”