Out of over 600 aspiring football talents, who have taken part in the Shield campaign, which will see the final winner get a contract with Orlando Pirates, two were girls. So we caught up with campaign ambassador Mpho Letsholonyane who wants to see more girls getting involved.
Click through the gallery to see images of the ladies involved in the campaign.
The wife of SuperSport United midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane has long left her own mark in the South African football sphere as TV host and sports radio personality and has been involved as ambassador in the Shield Sbonis’ iDiski campaign since last year.
“I am liking my personal involvement in the campaign because we are showing ladies that football is not just a male sport. The fact that Chelsea also have a women’s team gives an avenue even for the girls to go through and have a team to train with; it is not just for the guys,” she told Soccer Laduma.
Mpho and the coaches were positively surprised to see a female goalkeeping aspirant pitching up for the trial in Cape Town and the campaign ambassador expressed how excited she was for Buhle Duba to stand as the only girl among 113 boys to chase her dream, while later in Durban Sanda Pearl also came out to the trials.
“I love the fact that they have got the courage to say, ‘I have a dream, I want to chase that dream. Yes, I might be the only female who is here, but I know why I am here.’ She knows why she started this and it is not about anyone else, it is about her and her dream.
“I encourage other women to join the trials as we go around the country. They must not look at anyone else, but at themselves, what they want to achieve. So big up to her.
“Last year we also had one girl, who coincidently came here in Cape Town. She was an outfield player, although she didn’t make it to the final trials. But it is the attempt to come out and train among over 100 boys that already makes these ladies winners. Here to pitch up to the trials.”
Last week, coaches from Chelsea and Orlando Pirates assessed the top 25 players of the Sbonis' iDiski campaign and the overall winner, who will receive a pro-contract with Pirates' MDC team, will be announced on 11 September.
Soccer Laduma and Shield wish all women in South Africa, involved in sport or otherwise, a happy Women’s Day.