The Minster of Sport and Recreation, Ms Tokozile Xasa (MP), hosted a breakfast for Senior Ladies Football National team, Banyana Banyana in Cape Town.
Minister Xasa gave the national team the Recognition of Excellence Award for qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s Wold Cup in France in June. The recent 2018 CAF wins of Coach of the year as well as Player of the year by Ms. Desiree Ellis (Coach of Banyana Banyana) as well as Ms. Thembi Kgatlana (Player of Banyana Banyana) were also applauded when Minister Xasa afforded Ms. Ellis as well as Ms Kgatlana their respective Recognition of Excellence Awards.
In her opening remarks, addressing the media and the guests at the breakfast, Minister Xasa outlined that: “We are here to celebrate you not only because you were selected at the team of the year during the 2018 South African Sport Awards, but for having inspired and uniting the nation, reminding us that we all have a collective claim in this country, that we are all South Africans.”
Coach Ellis in turn shared the excitement of the team in looking forward to the World Cup: “ As a team, we want to make sure that when we leave that Word Cup we are not forgotten, we want to be phenomenal so that people remember us”.
The minister acknowledged the outcry to date by the nation for government and related stakeholders to support the development of women’s football in the country.
Minister Xasa committed that: “the department of Sport and Recreation we will in the next three years avail R5 million towards the women’s Premier League, so that more Banyana_Banyana players can come from this league.”
The minister also called upon the nation to support Banyana_Banyana Friday’s in the build up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
After the Breakfast the Minister accompanied by the Banyana Banyan team went to Dreyden Primary School, a former school of Coach Desiree, to hand over sport attire as part of the Ministerial Outreach Programme.