The Gauteng Department of Sport, Art, Culture and Recreation has partnered with the City of Ekurhuleni to bring a four-team, one-day women’s tournament to the Tsakane stadium. The one-of-a-kind friendly, named Gauteng All Star Games, will be held on Saturday, 23 March, and is expected to bring a number of the senior women’s national team players, including captain Janine van Wyk.
Van Wyk is one of the group of four past and present Banyana Banyana players who will be captain of each of the participating teams. The others are former captain Portia Modise, and two other former players, Simphiwe Dludlu and Keneilwe Mathibela.
An exhibition match between the Brakpan and Springs Local Football Association women’s teams is also scheduled to take place on the day.
Tournament director Moonira Ramathula says the whole idea of the day is to help develop and expose women’s football. “There isn’t any high-profile women’s football tournament in this country, so we thought let’s start with this one – something that showcases women’s football but also very high-profile.
“It’s also to encourage young girls to play football and also to motivate them that they get to see their real life heroes in person. “Also, to have a look at legends like Portia Modise, where a little girl can sit there and think, ‘Well I can also do it, if she can, I can, because she’s motivating and inspiring me to do it.’
“Banyana Banyana are going to the World Cup and some of the players that will be playing there (in Tsakane) would be selected to take to the World Cup, and some of the players that, actually, were the finalists at the AFCON (African Women’s Cup of Nations).”
Free tickets for the tournament will be available at the Tsakane stadium on Thursday and Friday from 13:00 until 17:00. They can also be collected at the Faranani Multipurpose Centre in Tsakane on the day of the games from 10:00, as the games kick-off at 11:00.