All women soccer stars in action at showcase

Gauteng All Stars Games on March 23.

GAUTENG Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation has launched a first-of-its-kind in a local soccer tournament that will see the past, present and future of South African women’s football going head-to-head against each other.

The Gauteng All Star Games is a one-day invitational tournament on March 23 at Tsakane Stadium in Tsakane.

“One of our priority programmes in Gauteng is women’s sport, including football, and as the Home of Champions and Sporting Excellence, we are proud and excited to be part of this groundbreaking initiative. It is the first of its kind, aimed at uplifting women’s football and empowering women in sport. With Banyana Banyana going to the Fifa World Cup later this year, we hope this will inspire up-and-coming talent and elevate the sport to new heights,” said Philasande Muvevi, director of competitive sports at the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

Tickets for the Gauteng All Stars Games are free to allow all Gauteng residents to come out in their numbers to support outstanding women who will, without a doubt, deliver spectacular football.

The tournament will feature Banyana Banyana’s current captain, Janine van Wyk, who resides in the East Rand, along with Portia Modise, Keneilwe Mathibela and Simphiwe Dludlu.

“The positive twist is that this time around the ground won’t suffer when the giants clash, in fact, it will be nurtured,” said tournament director Moonira Ramathula, referring to the integration of a pool of young footballers from the lower divisions of women’s football, playing alongside their Fifa Women’s World Cup-bound seniors.

Each team will comprise a squad of playmakers that will include current players in the senior national team, players in the u-20 national team (Basetsana), players in the u-17 national team (Bantwana), players in the Sasol Gauteng Women’s League and Banyana Banyana legends.

“This will give up-and-coming players the opportunity to learn from experienced players while honing their skills on the field of play,” said Ramathula. “The most important objective of the Gauteng All Star Games is that women’s football will be put in the spotlight. It will be an exhibition of the talent we possess in women’s football and give more reason why it should be supported by communities, government and private sectors.”

The City of Ekurhuleni based clubs will benefit from soccer clinics that will be held a week prior to the tournament.

“The winning team will donate football equipment to a beneficiary school of their choice,” said Atwell Sijadu, divisional head of sport and recreation at City of Ekurhuleni.

“This will boost the resuscitation and growth of school sport in the area.”

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