Sasol partner with Banyana

WORKING PARTNERSHIP: Sasol has once again extended their partnership with four more years with Banyana Banyana. Photo: Annette van Schalkwyk.

BANYANA Banyana, the flagship of the South African Football Association, SAFA, had their partnership extended by SASOL for another four years.

Sasol has been sponsoring women’s soccer for eight years and has, together with this partnership, done groundbreaking development of women’s soccer in the country.

Their sponsorship has helped to bring about the Sasol Women’s league which takes place over December and has supported the national women’s team in all their endeavours going to Afcon, FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Banyana Banyana has in many ways outclassed the national men’s team, Bafana Bafana, and has brought pride to a soccer loving nation.

The Minister of Women Sport in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu attended the announcement which took place on September 7. Other football stakeholders, Banyana Banyana, SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan and Sasol senior vice president for corporate affairs, Wrenelle Stander, were all present.

This long-running partnership will continue for four years until June 2021.

“At Sasol, we pursue sponsorships that enhance our brand, inspire creativity and innovation and create unique opportunities to build stakeholder relationships. As a direct result of our investment in women’s football, the landscape for the Sasol League and Banyana Banyana has forever changed and we are extremely proud of what they have achieved in such a short time,” said Stander.

The two organisations first entered into this partnership in 2009 with the aim of growing and uplifting women’s football. Through this relationship, the Sasol League – South Africa’s premier women’s football league, was established in 2009 and Banyana Banyana has gone on to achieve the seemingly impossible on the international scene, including back-to-back Olympic qualification in 2012 and 2016.

The Sasol League has provided an opportunity for over 3 600 female footballers to play regular competitive football to improve the standard of the women’s game in the country. It has also opened doors for female football players to obtain bursaries at institutions of higher learning through football with 35 of the 46 core players in the national team either studying or with qualifications.

“The Sasol partnership has not only changed lives for the better for our football playing community but has provided life-changing opportunities for most of our football playing women/girls. Part of Vision 2022 is to increase the number of people playing football to 10 percent of the country’s population. This means more than 5 million of our population must be involved in the game one way or the other and most of these will come from females. With the partnership that we have entered with Sasol, this goal is likely to be achieved much earlier,” said the SAFA president.

Jordaan added that a number of Banyana Banyana players were now studying and playing professional football overseas and this was a win-win situation in the sense that apart from improving their own careers outside football, their involvement with overseas clubs would benefit Banyana Banyana (the Senior Women’s National Team).

“For all this, we want to thank Sasol for being true friends of football development.”

Sasol was recently awarded the prestigious “Sponsor of the Year” award at the gsport Awards last month.

The new partnership will give even more female players the opportunity to participate in regular competitive football which will bode well for Banyana Banyana who will be jetting off to Zimbabwe for the COSAFA Women’s Cup from September 13 to 24.

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Annette van Schalkwyk
Sports journalist

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