The past weekend was action packed with the women’s football teams competing to be the tournament winners.
At the end, the teams that reached the knockout stage were TS Galaxy Queens, who were third, and University of Johannesburg Women’s FC came in second and the well-deserved winners Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies FC walked away with a trophy and prize money of R150 000.
The City of Johannesburg in seeking to increase support for women sporting codes and launched the inaugural Joburg Basadi Football Challenge on Women’s Day, 8 August, to ensure pre-season games become a norm to help the players stay motivated and fit during off season.
The participating teams in this year’s tournament were: Mamelodi Sundowns, Wits University, University of Johannesburg, TS Galaxy Queens, Blue Birds, Blue Raycons, JWV FC and Diepkloof Ladies FC.
The Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Lubabalo Magwentshu, and Regional Director Mlamleli Ballot conducted the draw.
Cllr Magwentshu threw his weight behind the tournament, as he has always advocated for rights of women in sports and putting a spotlight on their respective disciplines.
“I somehow knew that it was going to be a bit of an uphill battle because the barriers are too big. However, giving up was never a choice and we shall continue to support and host such tournaments and knock at every door until someone opens. We are very clear on what we want for women sporting codes such as football. “We want sponsorship and equal pay for them, we want media coverage and tangible investment into the development of sporting talents in rural and township communities. We want better and safe facilities where they can perfect their talents,” said Cllr Magwentshu.
Tournament such as the Joburg Basadi Football challenge not only make for great practice for the players but they encourage players to stay on course and bring women football into the spotlight in communities where they can motivate young girls to take up the sport.