10 of the Most Memorable Moments in Women’s Sport in 2023

From Banyana Banyana’s historic Women’s World Cup feat to KG Montjane excelling beyond belief, a lot has to be made about what a year 2023 has been for women in sport and sportswomen. 

There were countless times that we were left in awe or felt sheer pride from what we saw females achieve in their respective disciplines. And be it in a regular match or on the world stage, gsport attempted to narrow it down, but it was no easy task.

Women’s Football World Cup

This one was special in many ways, for us South Africans we got to see Banyana Banyana accomplish a historic feat when they reached the knockouts of the competition. The co-hosts Australia also made their own history as they reached the semi-finals of the competition but were beaten by England. The Matilda’s were certainly one of the surprise packages of the football showpiece as their performances captivated the home fans. Sarina Wiegman’s team meanwhile, became the first English side to reach a World Cup final for the first time since 1966. Spain went on to win the title, and it was the first time in their history to secure the World Cup trophy. 

Olympic Qualifying 

A team that has always managed to perform against the odds, did it again this year. The South African Women’s Hockey team sealed their place at the 2024 Olympic Games. It was none other than Thati Zulu who helped her side book their ticket to Paris. The South African Women’s Seven side will also join their Hockey counterparts in Paris as they gained qualification back in October. Meanwhile, Caitlin Rooskrantz continued to be a trailblazer in Artistic Gymnastics, and will also represent South Africa at the Games in just over six months. She bagged a historic 19th place at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Belgium to her ensure her participation. 

Cricket 

The wonderful year of women’s sport got off to a thrilling start with the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup taking place in Cape Town and its surrounds. The Proteas Women wowed the home crowd as they reached the final of the competition and, like Banyana Banyana, it was the first time this was done by a male or female national cricket side. The hosts not winning the final is nothing to scoff at, as the mighty Australia went on to win their sixth title, completing the ‘three-peat’ for a second time. Elsewhere, Proteas women’s captain Laura Wolvaardt also enjoyed a success as she helped guide the Adelaide Strikers to back-to-back WBBL titles. 

Football

It was quite the year for women’s football on the local and international front. Banyana had their record-breaking run. But the star of the show has to be coach Desiree Ellis who walked away with the CAF Women’s Coach of the Year award for a fourth time! Again this shows just why she is the best in the business. Football stalwart, Janine van Wyk finally became the most capped player on the African continent and with it, the former Banyana Banyana captain called time on her illustrious football career. On the local front, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies again set the benchmark when it comes to not only football in South Africa but also on the continent. Jerry Tshabalala’s team won everything on offer to them and completed the treble for the second time in 3 years. They ended the season as COSAFA Women’s Champions League Winners, CAF Women’s Champions League winners, and not forgetting their Hollywoodbets Super League title win. 

Netball 

South Africa hosted two women’s World Cups this year and the second of that was the Netball World Cup. The spectacle was one to remember as the Spar Proteas played with heart and determination which often saw the roof being raised by fans cheering them on for their skilful performances. It made history in many ways as it became the most-watched Netball World Cup. We also said goodbye to two netball stalwarts in December as captain fantastic Bongi Msomi and Phumza Maweni retired. Msomi ends her time in netball as the nation’s most capped netball player, and will truly leave a legacy on- and off the court. She is not just a stalwart in netball, but also in women’s sport. 

Tennis

Kgothatso Montjane continued to impress on every level, and she was again in world-class form in 2023. She rightfully grabbed the top honours at the gsport Newsmakers of 2023 (#GAL2023) event earlier in December, after earning the French Open and US Open titles this year, proving that she has staying power when it comes to being at the top of her game. Coco Gauff hit the headlines when she won the US Open and the 19-year-old became the first teenager to complete the feat since Serena Williams in 1999.

Golf

Ashleigh Buhai overcame nerves to successfully defend her Australia Open title. Her win saw her become the first player to win back-to-back titles in over a decade.

Squash

Nour El Sherbini kept a solid grip on the Squash World Championship title. The Egyptian won her seventh World Championship, her five title wins in a row has seen her now become level with squash legend Nicol David.


Main Photo caption: A lot has been made about what a year 2023 has been for women in sport and sportswomen. There were countless times that we were left in awe or felt sheer pride from what we saw females in their respective disciplines achieve, be it in a regular match or on the world stage. gsport attempted to narrow it down but it was no easy task. Photo: Banyana Banyana on X

Photo 2 caption: Kgothatso Montjane continued to impress on every level, and she was again in world-class form in 2023. Photo: Kgothatso Montjane on Instagram

Photo 3 caption: Ashleigh Buhai became the first player to win back-to-back titles to defend her Australia Open title. Photo: Ashleigh Buhai on Instagram

Photo 4 caption: Bongiwe Msomi ends her time in netball and will leave a legacy on- and off the court. Photo: Bongiwe Msomi on Instagram

Photo 5 caption: Desiree Ellis walked away with the CAF Women’s Coach of the Year award for a fourth consecutive time. Photo: Desiree Ellis on X

Photo 6 caption: Mamelodi Sundowns set the benchmark not only in South Africa but also on the continent. Photo: Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies on Instagram

Photo 7 caption: The South African Women’s Hockey team sealed their place at the 2024 Olympic Games. Photo: SA Hockey on X

Photo 8 caption: Artistic Gymnastics’ Caitlin Rooskrantz will represent SA at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Photo: Caitlin Rooskrantz Ladies on Instagram

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