To empower and uplift young females from disadvantaged backgrounds, Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has donated R50 000 towards the development of women’s cricket in the city.
Speaking at SuperSport Park in Centurion during the second Test match between South Africa and India yesterday, Msimanga said he was “touched” to learn of six young women from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who formed part of the only women’s cricket empowerment programme in the country.
“The Titans Cricket Union started the women’s empowerment programme two years ago to assist young, upcoming black female cricket players from previously disadvantaged areas.
“The programme enables them to improve their lives and their future, not only through cricket skills development, but also through other aspects. That encouraged me to use the mayoral donations fund to donate R50 000 towards the empowerment of these future stars,” Msimanga said.
He said sports had “enormous” potential to empower women and girls to defy the misconception that females were incapable of professionally competing in any sporting field and drawing audiences.
“There is good evidence that participation in sports can help break down gender stereotypes, improve girls’ and women’s self-esteem and contribute to the development of leadership skills,” said Msimanga.
It was also a way of making a sustainable living and breaking the cycle of poverty. The young beneficiaries, from Hammanskraal and Soshanguve, will be assisted with food, transport and accommodation. The programme will also assist players in getting their driver’s licenses, while providing them with additional education at a further education and tertiary institution.
“This is while entering into a two-year contract with the cricket union,” said Msimanga.
“From the City of Tshwane, I would like to give credit to the Titans Cricket Union for this worthy initiative meant to address gender imbalances in the cricket world.
“It is by no fluke that they are one of the best cricket franchises in the world.”