Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have had perhaps their busiest week during their training camp in Durban.
Shortly after their arrival in the city, they took part in a fun walk with their fans on a 5km route around the Moses Mabhida Stadium – the venue for their clash against the Reggae Girlz of Jamaica on Sunday, 7 April 2019.
They also took time off their hectic schedule to stop by the training session of Amazulu FC, who were preparing for their league fixture against Chippa United this coming weekend.
They had hardly been able to catch their breath when on Thursday (4 April) they hosted about 100 aspirant girls to coaching clinics at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, shortly after their own training session in preparation for Jamaica.
The little girls, who arrived just in time to catch the last minutes of the squad’s training session, were taken through various drills with all the players involved, while the technical team watched from a distance.
Some were taught how to dribble, score goals, be goalkeepers, head the ball, and how to pass and move.
“This is where we all started with our careers, and it just becomes emotional to see how far we have come as Banyana Banyana. Now that we have made it to the top, we cannot forget where we come from. Years down the line you will get a story of a player saying this is also where it started with them,” said Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk.
“I love working with kids and this just gives me so much joy. It really feels good giving back to the community in this fashion, and if we could as a national team we would do it all the time, but sometimes it is impossible – but where we can we should do the best we can. I am was looking at my teammates and to see how they were also enjoying themselves with the kids made me feel great inside.
Her words were echoed by goalkeeper Andile Dlamini.
“This is the part I love about this game, imparting knowledge to the little kids – it is such an invaluable satisfaction that cannot be measured. I am glad we got to do something like this and leave those many kids with big smiles on their faces – the kind of smile that leaves you happy and feeling good on the inside,” said Dlamini.
The kids were each given soccer balls and Sasol-branded apparel like caps, water bottles, #limitless shoelaces – and maybe an experience they will never forget. It was also an opportunity to mingle with their World Cup-bound heroes.