12 September 2019 – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis and star player Bongeka Gamede believe Varsity Women’s Football is an ideal platform to grow South African Women’s Football.
The most talented university football athletes will travel to Potchefstroom for the Varsity Women’s Football tournament from 19-21 September 2019 with the final taking place on 26 September.
Ellis lauded the quality of the tournament and how it has been a feeder to the South African National team.
“Varsity Football has been key in the evolution of Banyana Banyana, as well as the personal growth of the individual players. The quality of the Varsity Women’s Football tournament is evident by the number of players who came through the competition and were part of our World Cup squad.
“Seven athletes came through Varsity Women’s Football including Refiloe Jane and Thembi Kgatlana. It’s fantastic that these talented women get this platform to show their skills to the country.”
Ellis also highlighted the importance of the players receiving an education while playing.
“It goes hand-in-hand and also gives an opportunity to football players to get an education. When I played in the National Team, 90 per cent of players were unemployed. Now approximately 90 per cent have degrees or are currently studying. It’s always exciting to see young girls play and it gives us hope for the future of women’s football in South Africa.”
Eight Varsity Women’s Football teams will compete including current champions TUT. They will be joined by UJ, UKZN, UZ, CUT, UFS, UP-Tuks and UWC.
Banyana Banyana star, Bongeka Gamede, who will be representing UWC in Varsity Women’s Football, believes so many national players come out of the tournament because of the quality and competitiveness.
“We have eight teams from all the universities. That means only the best teams compete in the tournament. This is why Varsity Women’s Football is always challenging; there’s a lot of high-quality players from different universities.
“Although the tournament is tough, it is also a good platform for players to improve and become better. This is because the competition in the tournament is high, so this forces players to be on their best performance for the entire tournament, hence they often get an opportunity to be selected to play for the national team as well. Therefore, playing Varsity Football helps one learn a lot and also become better.”
The tournament will take place at North-West University with selected games televised on SuperSport 204 and 210.