Wed Jul 26 12:36:17 SAST 2017

Women's football is in good hands

By Sihle Ndebele | 2017-07-18 10:40:23.0

When Pearl Mosoane took over her grandmother's nonprofit organisation - Dlala Ntombazane - she was over the moon . Mosoane (32) always had a long-term desire to help kids through sports.

Dlala Ntombazane, which translates to "play girl" in English, was established in 2006 by Mosoane's granny Josina Tellie. In 2015, she handed it over to Mosoane to run.

The organisation helps girls who play football at school by organising tournaments for them. It also serves as a platform for national coaches to identify talented female players.

"I want kids to participate in sports so that they don't get involved in social ills," she said.

Mosoane, who holds a microbiology diploma from the University of Pretoria, also gets involved with the social aspects that can affect young athletes' lives.

Her passion for sports dates back to her university days when she did athletics and played cricket.

"We also organise life-skills programmes that focus on education, HIV/Aids awareness, tackling substance abuse, educating women and young girls about their rights, gender-based violence and bullying, because all those off-the-field factors have a big effect on the performance of the girls on the field, and in worst cases [can] even pull them away from sports."

Since its inception 11 years ago, the initiative has had some success stories.

"Many of our former participants have gone on to represent the country in the under-17 and under-20 [teams].

"These include players such as Busisiwe Ndimeni, Robyn Moodaly, Drishana Pillay and Mologadi Maluleke to name but a few.

"Our mission is to bring all the roleplayers under one roof and on the same page, so that when it comes to women's football, we all speak one language, and we create a seamless pathway for players from primary school all the way up to university level," she added.

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