Banyana stars hope to ‘do great’ in Rio

Banyana Banyana players during training at Nike Center in Soweto. photo by Trevor Kunene
Banyana Banyana players during training at Nike Center in Soweto. photo by Trevor Kunene

Banyana Banyana stars Janine van Wyk, Roxanne Barker and Jermaine Seoposenwe will be celebrating Women’s Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

They have great hopes for the women’s football league. There is no professional league in Mzansi, yet Banyana have still qualified for the Olympic Games twice in a row. 

After losing 1-0 to Sweden in their opening Group E encounter at the Olympic Stadium, the gap between a country that has a professional league and one that doesn’t have one was quite obvious. 

Many of the Swedes ply their trade in some of the European top leagues. For Banyana only Barker, Seoposenwe and Robyn Moodaly currently play abroad. 

Barker said: “We hope to see women’s football growing and reaching the same heights of some of the countries that we play against ... We believe in women’s sport and women’s month and we would be happy to see football grow to a whole new level in our country. It would be great for me to come back and play at home as well, but only if there is a proper structure and a good league.” 

The Banyana skipper says a full-time professional league would help women’s football to up their level. 

“Women in sport need all the support that we can get and we know that our sport has the potential to grow. People are starting to enjoy women’s football and imagine what it will be like if our dream of a full-time league can be realised,” says Van Wyk. 

“Being a female athlete is special. We can see the growth in the sport and we are hoping to fly the flag here and do great.” 

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