Athletic Gauteng North (AGN) is preparing a team to take part in the national track and field youth and junior championships in Tshwane next month.
AGN's development officer Itumeleng Moloto said though a strong team of 150 has been assembled for the April 13 and 14 event at Pilditch Stadium, the acute shortage of girl athletes is becoming a big concern.
"This is not just a Gauteng North issue, it is a national problem. The number of girl athletes, particularly black girls, is very low, and these girls need to be encouraged. Finding them is not a problem, but we discovered that after investing in their development and training, they eventually abandon the sport."
Moloto said he was pleased, however, that the selected team is a combination of medal contenders and development athletes.
"We are taking advantage of the fact that we are hosting, so we will not incur traveling expenses. Though we expect medals, we are aware that we are building for the future."