A clear indication that the corporate sector is taking notice of our women sports stars is Nike’s latest campaign, launched last month in Johannesburg.
{mosimage}In a significant show of support for South African women athletes, the global sports merchandising giant included four national women sporting icons to accompany the launch of their daring new ‘Just Do It’ campaign.
The campaign includes Banyana Banyana captain, Portia Modise, dancing sensation, Amy Rosslind, Springbok Women’s Rugby Women’s Captain, Nomsebenzi Tsotsobe, and swimming star, Charlene Wittstock.
By acknowledging that ‘every day, people fight to overcome the battles of  poverty, crime, abuse, disability or inequality,’ Nike asks us to individually identify our fight, and to use our bodies as ‘weapons’ across the country’s sports fields, in pursuit of that ideal.
At the Nike launch, Banyana Banyana captain, Portia Modise, who is now plying her trade in Denmark, seemed delighted by her inclusion in this high profile campaign.
So, what is Modise’s fight? She says: “I came from a difficult background because my mom didn’t work, and she had to take care of the three of us. It was difficult for her. Through football, I’ve been able to help my family survive.
“For a girl to play football is not that easy because you get intimidated and told that women can’t play football but I think I’ve proved them wrong.”
{mosimage}Amy Rosslind is a dancer from Cape Town. This spunky young woman danced her way to Los Angeles after winning one of five spots on Nike’s online Dance to LA competition.
Rosslind’s one-minute freestyle dance routine received the most online votes out of the South African participants, which automatically qualified her as SA’s representative in the European final.
She clinched one of the five spots up for grabs in the Netherlands, and won a trip of a lifetime to Los Angeles.
“It was the best week of my life. We got to dance with Jamie King, world renowned, amazing choreographer, and exceptionally talented dancer.
“I danced at the Millennium studios, the Edge Studios, got to go around Hollywood, saw the stars on the floor. It was incredible,” Rosslind told gsport.
“I’ve opened my own dancing school called Urban Degree in Cape Town. It’s an organisation that is for the youth, by the youth. Its an association with an organisation called Dance For Peace, which is an organisation where we are trying to use dance to heal the world.
“We’re trying to unite everyone in the world through dance. Its based in America, Peru, and South Africa,” said Rosslind.
About her relationship with Nike, Amy says: “Its given me a lot of exposure. I’ve learnt a lot about the industry, just been signed for Nike.
“It’s an incredible brand, and I’m not just saying that because I should. Everyone knows who Nike is. I’m honoured to be a part of this, it’s an amazing feeling.”
{mosimage}Nomsebenzi Tsotsobe is not only the Springbok Women’s Rugby captain, but also a top model.
Of her inclusion in the Nike JDI campaign, she told gsport: “I’m stunned, I haven’t been in something like this before. I’ve been in adverts before, but this was an overwhelming experience.
“I’m still in shock, and I’m still wondering why me. Everything I’ve worked for, is now paying off.”
So what is Tsotsobe’s fight? She says: “It’s a challenge to find women who want to play rugby and a challenge to be taken seriously.
“We had more than 178 women’s rugby clubs in South Africa at one point but now it’s dropping a little bit. But we’re hanging in there because we want to prove that women’s rugby is here to stay.”

Swimming star, Charlene Wittstock couldn’t attend the launch, but this was her message to the youth.
“There’s no bigger privilege than to represent your country and swimming has given me that opportunity when I represented South Africa at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000.

“If your body is willing and your mind is willing, you’ll be able to achieve at any level.”
These women have proven that there are no such things as limitations and they’re striving to be their best.
So, the question is what is YOUR FIGHT? You too can be part of this movement, and join the thousands who have already made their pledges.
Simply log on to the Nike SA website, where you can also view the inspirational story of famous sporting icons, and where you can tell your story too!