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She-Bobo at UWC

There are few opportunities for girls younger than 10 to participate in competitive soccer. Those who are interested in the game have to play with and against boys. This hampers the grassroots development of the women’s game in a country where Banyana Banyana already participated in their first FIFA World Cup and have recently won the Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON). 

To address the gap, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has launched She-Bobo at UWC – a soccer league established exclusively for girls under-8 and under-10.

Dr Danny Jordaan, South African Football Association president and UWC alumnus, says 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 has made its contribution. More than 15 of our national team players come from UWC – both in terms of sport and education. Many of them are graduates and it’s no wonder that 80 percent of the Banyana team are graduates. It is something we encourage. We hope these girls that start at an early age will eventually enrol at the University to continue their studies. This is one of the most important things: sport and education, and not a choice between a sporting career and having an education.”

Professor Tyrone Pretorius, UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor and himself 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. 

“As we celebrate our heroes as the WAFCON champions, we welcome the new cohort of future stars gracing our sporting fields in the She-Bobo at UWC league. We will be watching with great interest the progress of these little superstars, from goals to graduation gowns.”

She-Bobo at UWC will include soccer clubs in neighbouring communities and across the metropole to play in a league of their own in 2023. On 22 October 2022, UWC Stadium hosted a football festival - as a taste of what is to come - where girl footballers from 12 clubs participated in a day of soccer fun. 

The league is the brainchild of UWC Media and Marketing manager, Gasant Abarder – off the back of the University already being a hub for women’s football. 

UWC is home to a senior women’s football side that finished 3rd in the Hollywoodbets-sponsored national football league in 2021 and won the prestigious 2021 Varsity Women's Football tournament in the same year. Our alumnae include Thembi Kgatlana, a former African Women’s Footballer of the Year, who played European Champions League football and who scored South Africa’s first ever goal in a women’s World Cup.

The University’s modern facilities and playing fields will play host to She-Bobo at UWC. Our UWC Stadium playing surface is PSL-approved. But more than our impressive facilities, we will expose the girl footballers to our academic disciplines in higher education where in many communities attending a university is not an option. Their families will become accustomed to university life long before they enter the doors of learning as students.

The University will provide playing kit and equipment, facilities, security, infrastructure, coaching workshops, referees, transport, meals and refreshments. 

“We believe that creating a platform for junior girl footballers is an investment in young girl children. We want to be a game changer as a catalyst for social change and a conduit to the girl child realising her full potential – from excelling on the playing field to eventually graduating from UWC as a well-rounded citizen of the world. At UWC, we know full well how talented girl footballers are in a league of their own. We want to be their springboard for a whole new world that connects possibilities,” said Abarder. 

WATCH: Dr Danny Jordaan’s full interview on She-Bobo here

On 22 October 2022, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) hosted the She-Bobo at UWC football festival for under-8 and under-10 girls as a showcase of the inaugural league next year.

The league is fully endorsed by South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan as well as former Manchester United and Bafana Bafana star, Quinton Fortune. 

She-Bobo at UWC seeks to address the lack of competitive soccer for girls under the age of 10 in the Cape Metropole. The university is already a significant contributor to the women’s game, with half of the Women’s African Cup of Nations winners for Banyana Banyana being either current students or alumnae. 

The following community clubs participated in the fun football festival to introduce the junior girls’ league:


  1. Salt River Blackpool FC
  2. Mighty City (late addition for Hellenic FC)
  3. Cape Town Roses FC
  4. RV United FC
  5. Matroosfontein FC
  6. Heideveld Female Football Academy
  7. Camps Bay FC
  8. Cape Flats Sports Academy
  9. Blikkiesdorp FC
  10. Ikasi Soccer School 


  1. Salt River Blackpool FC
  2. Mighty City (late addition for Hellenic FC)
  3. Cape Town Roses FC
  4. RV United FC
  5. Matroosfontein FC
  6. Bellville City FC
  7. Heideveld Female Football Academy
  8. Camps Bay FC
  9. Tramway FC
  10. Cape Flats Sports Academy

The UWC Stadium will be the place to be on Saturday, 22 October 2022. Come and cheer on our girls as we see them play In a League of Their Own. There will be food trucks, entertainment and giveaways. Entry will be free.

She-Bobo at UWC team coaches participated in the Premier Skills programme on 20 and 21 October 2022. 

The Premier Skills programme is an initiative between the British Council South Africa and the English Premier League. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

This junior league for girls will create a platform for talent to shine on the soccer field, but is also an opportunity for their coaches to learn new skills.

The teams come from diverse communities across the Cape Town Metropole.
The Premier Skills programme coaches

This is all about levelling the playing field, and the coaches were eager to learn more about how they can upskill the girls, and along the way, hone their own skills.

Errol van der Byl is the coach of Blikkiesdorp United FC, which has 150 junior players in various teams.

“This programme means a lot to me because I am always experiencing different challenges with coaching,” said Van Der Byl.
“I am always keen to gain more experience and learn new skills because you work with children from different backgrounds every day.”

Azeezah Gool from Hanover Park is a coach for the Cape Flats Sports Academy. She has just started her coaching career and is keen to learn as much as she can.

“I am learning so much about how to work with the kids, and we just needed this experience from this programme, and it's helping us a lot,” said Gool.

Shannon Mills, a coach at Salt River Blackpool FC, said: “I have been on a coaching course before… but there is always more to learn”.

“This course, presented by Premier Skills, is a bit different from the regular courses offered by the SAFA facilitators, so I was very keen to see their take on grassroots and junior football,” she added. 
The Premier Skills Team working with the coaches participating in the She-Bobo at UWC Football Festival.
Images by Taygon Sass/UWC Media.

For more information, contact UWC spokesperson, Gasant Abarder, on 083 294 6097.