Thursday, August 4, 2011

South Africa's ABSA Women’s Soccer League Kicks Off

The Absa women’s league National Championship will kick off in Richard’s Bay, Kwazulu Natal, this week when the South African Football Association (SAFA) and Absa come together to sponsor a week long tournament. As part of Women’s Month celebrations, the tournament opener will kick off on 4 August culminating with the final on the 9th of August, which will be Women’s Day.

The tournament will feature nine provincial teams from the SAFA regions. The opening matches will be played in Esikhawini, while the final will be played in Richards Bay and televised live on SABC TV.

Gauteng are the current champions of the Absa Women’s League National Championships, having won the trophy in 2009 and 2010 consecutively. The ladies were also nominated in the “Team of the Year” category at the recent Gauteng Sport Awards alongside the Blue Bulls for the impressive performances.

SAFA’s Chairman of the Competitions Committee, Sam Masitenyane, says the Association is excited to host the Absa Women’s League National Championships for the fourth consecutive time. He adds that it also falls in line with the South African Football Association’s initiative to celebrate Women’s Month with the rest of the country. He expressed his gratitude to Absa for their long standing support and looks forward to even greater things in the future.

“As the Association we are delighted with the partnership we have with Absa as far as women’s football is concerned. We see this as part of our social responsibility and we are happy to be part of it”, says Masitenyane. 

“This year’s 3rd and 4th place playoffs together with the finals will take place on Women’s Day. This only goes to show the commitment and support we have for South African women and all their endeavours.”

Masitenyane believes the national championships have been a great success over the years. The tournament continues to grow with each season.
“We are pleased with the steady progress that we see with the tournament and we will strive to ensure that this trend continues. This tournament is very important to Women’s Football as it serves as a feeder league to the Sasol League, which in turn provides our Senior 
Women’s National Team, Banyana Banyana, with players. So, it is crucial that we continue to nurture this league because we see it as an entry point for these young girls to stake their claim in the higher platforms of the national teams. 

This is where real talent is and our job as the Association and sponsor is to unearth it for the benefit of the country,” added Masitenyane.
Absa General Manager: Sponsorships and Events, Lynn Naude reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of all South Africans. “Sport touches the hearts and minds of all South Africans and we are proud sponsors of the Springboks, Bafana Bafana and the Absa Premiership. The Absa Women’s League is another of our sponsorships that allows us to make a real difference in the lives of many women in our country.”

Absa also invested in life skills program which was held at each venue throughout the country where football players were given financial guidance and took part in health and wellness programs.
“Our aim has always been to give back to all the communities that we interact with. Through these programs we not only help mould our leaders of the future, but we also create South Africans who can truly be role models in their respective communities.”

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