JOHANNESBURG – The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is leading the way in the development of girls’ and women’s football.
The institution launched “She-Bobo” – a league exclusively for girls in the under eight and under 10 divisions.
The league is the brainchild of UWC Media and Marketing manager, Gasant Abarder and it aims to create more opportunities for young girls in the sport to develop their full potential.
Often, girls who wish to play football at any level, begin their journey by playing with boys.
This has been a hindrance to grassroots development in women’s sports as there have been no clear pathways from the junior to the professional level.
UWC’s commitment to the She-Bobo league is for girls to develop at their own pace and to close the sex gap in the prescribed age groups.
South African Football Association President Danny Jordaan said the league’s launch could not have come at a better time.
“It is a project that we are certainly delighted about and will support. It’s in the context of us making a bid for the Women’s World Cup in 2027. We are going to launch our intention to bid and then a full bidding process will be outlined by FIFA … around the time that we will see the launch of She-Bobo. It is indeed a wonderful initiative,” he said.
UWC plans to include soccer clubs in neighbouring communities and across the metropole to play in the league in 2023.
The university has also committed to providing all the necessary equipment and facilities for the development project.
While the expectation is that the girls will start playing at an earlier age, it is hoped that the majority who do not end up becoming professional players would eventually enroll at the university to continue their studies.
UWC is home to a Senior Women’s Football side that finished 3rd in the Hollywoodbets Super League in 2021.
Professor Tyrone Pretorius, UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor whose a notable soccer alumnus, said: “It is our hope that She-Bobo becomes the blueprint for how universities around the country can engage communities through sport and become the drivers for social change as the anchor institutions in our society.”
The institution will present a showcase football festival On 22 October 2022 which will be a preview of what the league will become.
‘ UWC (@UWConline) September 30, 2022