An exciting and promising year for South African sports women

2012-03-03 20:11

If the recent performances by South African sports women are anything to go by, then year 2012 promises to augur well for the country.

In September, Banyana Banyana made history by qualifying for this year’s London Olympic Games. In fact, last year alone, they won 12 of their 18 matches. And last week, the women’s hockey team qualified for the Olympics after beating hosts India in a tournament played in New Delhi.

The South African women’s hockey team booked their place and their fourth straight Olympics spot with a 3-1 victory.

Last week, triple jumper Charlene Potgieter recovered from an injury to compete at the Yellow Pages
inter-provincial meeting. Her stunning jump saw her break the 20-year-old record.

Potgieter (26), who’s been suffering from a stretched right knee since 2006, regained her form with a 13.61m jump.

The Gauteng North athlete missed the South African record at the SA Championships in Durban last year by a mere 2cm, but last week was able to break Charmain Barnard’s record (13.46m in Bloemfontein in 1992). She is also hoping to qualify for the Olympics.

Former Netball South Africa president Ntambi Ravele said:

“It’s going to be a huge year for South African women in sports; this is an opportunity for the girls to play at the highest level in the world.

“Women’s sport is growing quickly and we want to continue to increase our numbers.”

Ravele added that she was hoping the Olympics would provide inspiration to the next generation of South African athletes.

“A higher involvement of women in sport means more female role models whom our children can look up to.

This can only be good for the future of South Africa. A lot of money must be put into development,” she said.

“We have to invest more in our development programmes and working with schools, academies and clubs will also lift our standard of sports.

“We need to be creative and come up with new ways to get as many kids and women involved as we can so they have the opportunity to play games and enjoy sport.

“I believe that there are still many areas we can target to grow women’s sport in the country.”

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