On a cloudy Sunday afternoon during the lockdown, I have decided to let you know that I am a choosy and racial person on certain things in life.
While every Ugandan was praising the Ugandan contingent during the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, my attention was on our own Shida Leni.
Born in 1992 to Mr. Abdallatif Tiyua and Mrs. Amina Tiko in Orionzi village, Arua District, Leni went to Ombaci Primary school, Arua Public SS and Ndejje University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Social Works and Social Administration in 2015 and later a Masters Degree in Counseling and Psychology from Bugema University last year.
It was during her time at Arua Public SS in 2008 that Leni’s gambles landed on Athletics where she participated as a Quarter Miller. Life at Ndejje University was the epitome of everything as she joined a host of established athletes and coaches, which feat have since made her not to look back anymore.
A good run of form coupled with sheer believe and dedication attracted the attention of Police Athletics Club for her signature.
Hesitation to be trained and managed by the ever green Kevin O’connor, Okello Paul and Sue O’connor would be her biggest setback. The same trio were behind the management and training of former Arua gazelle Dorcus Inzikuru when she won Gold in Helsinki in 2000.
A strong admirer of American Allyson Felix, Leni faces staunch national competition from her compatriots Stella Wonruku and Emilly Nanziri but states,
“My hope is to have access to better training facilities, adequate financial support and always be healthy to beat the odds around me. Am disappointed that COVID-19 has disrupted every sporting activity otherwise my prime target was to participate at the 2020 Tokyo, Japan Summer Olympics”.
When I thought some dreams are way beyond our personal levels of implementation, the posho and beans lover defied that dream and said,
“I want to participate in the prestigious IAAF Diamond League in the near future and 2019 has shown me signs of that dream”.
Shida Leni is training hard during the lockdown in Arua and still has higher focus and ambition than she had in 2019.
Shida Leni’s 2019 at a Glance
- Broke her personal record 4 times in 400M from 51:72 seconds to 51:69 seconds, 51:58 seconds, 51:54 seconds and currently standing at 51:47 seconds.
- Broke Justine Bayiga’s 12 year National Record in 200M.
- Won Silver in World University Games in Napoli, Italy.
- Won Bronze in The All Africa Games in Morocco.
- Participated in 400M Heats at The World Championships in Doha, Qatar.