It is common knowledge that there are several challenges that women in sport face in South Africa, in this case, football.
From the lack of media coverage, lower pay, professional league, and inadequate financial backing.
Women athletes are not really given the light of day except for when it is Women’s month or unless they win big and secure overseas contracts like recently with a bunch of Banyana Banyana stars clinching deals with European teams.
Newly signed Dinamo Minsk defender Lebogang Ramalepe says this needs to change.
Ramalepe states that women’s excellence in sport needs to be recognised, promoted and celebrated all year round, not only in August with important issues affecting players being discussed for the betterment of women’s football in South Africa.
“We can’t just wait for women’s month to talk about everything, matters affecting women’s footballers in the country,” Ramalepe told the South African Football Journalists’ Association (SAFJA).
“We need the media to engage each and every time, you guys have the ability to show the world that South African footballers are talented as part of marketing as well as highlight our concerns and that’s when even the federation will understand what this is what women’s footballers want and want to achieve,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ramalepe’s teammate at Dinamo-BSUPC in Belarus Mulaudzi believes that the lack of development and proper financial backing are two of many factors hindering the process and growth of women’s football in the country.
“I think that we need to start with development in women’s football, marketing, sponsorship. The more sponsors we have, the more maybe things will be better because South Africa is one of the best countries when it comes to Women’s football, but the lack of resources and sponsorships is affecting us,” said Mulaudzi.
“So how am I going to give my best? how am going to perform? Imagine, Monday to Friday I am going to work, I need to focus on my work, I have a 9-5 job that I need to focus on.
“The more we focus on getting sponsorship for women’s football the better and maybe as a country we will achieve more, we will be able to play for the big teams and win at the end of the day,” she concluded.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi