Ms. Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, the Ambassador of South Africa in Spain, recently paid a special visit to two South African players participating in the renowned LALIGA Academy in Madrid, Spain.
The two South African players are enjoying their incredible journey, balancing their studies while simultaneously enjoying the fruits of European-based world-class football education.
Nobahle ‘Mabhodwe’ Mdelwa, a 15-year-old right-footed striker from Pietermaritzburg, currently plays for Dlala Ntombazane FC in the SASOL League. She is normally a student at Edendale Technical High School in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, and is known for her speed, agility, and coordination.
Sinazo Ntshota, a 17-year-old born in 2006, plays for City Lads, and has already represented South Africa in both under-17 and senior international matches. She made her senior international debut for Banyana Banyana at the 2022 COSAFA Cup.
Eight talented female players from across Africa are part of this year’s intake, including three Zambian players, two from Nigeria, and a player from Tanzania. Around 20 full-season scholarships were granted to female players who stood out in trials and scouting, during international under-17 competitions.
These talented athletes will call the complex home until June 2024, pursuing academic studies at an international school while honing their football skills under the expert guidance of top youth football coaches.
Talking about the flagship player development program hosted at the ESC LALIGA & NBA Centre, Tresor Penku, LALIGA Managing Director for Africa said: “This year marks a milestone as we introduced a girls’ team comprising 18 players from various countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Brazil, and Japan.”
The creation of our female team was made possible thanks to generous funding from LALIGA and EA SPORTS, a part of EA SPORTS’ FC FUTURES initiative, dedicated to promoting community football worldwide. We’re immensely grateful to our partners, the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) for their invaluable contributions to this endeavour.
LALIGA remains steadfast in its mission to inspire, empower, and positively impact communities across Africa through the captivating sport of football.
In a statement, Ambassador Mthembi-Mahanyele expressed her support, stating, “This initiative is a testament to the power of sport in fostering international collaboration and empowering young talent. It is heartening to see South African players excelling on this global platform, contributing to the rich tapestry of LALIGA Academy Madrid.”
We invite you to join us on this thrilling journey as we continue to share the magic of football, both within the African continent and beyond.
LALIGA is the largest football ecosystem in the world. It is a private sports association, made up of 20 football clubs/SADs in LALIGA EA SPORTS and 22 in LALIGA HYPERMOTION, and is responsible for the organisation of professional and national football competitions. It has over 200 million followers on social networks globally, across 16 platforms and in 20 different languages; and has the most extensive international network of any sports property, through which it is present in 41 countries and 11 offices, with headquarters in Madrid (Spain). The association is socially active through its Foundation and is the first professional football league in the world with a competition for players with intellectual disabilities: LALIGA GENUINE.
Photo Caption: The SA Ambassador in Spain, Ms. Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, recently paid a special visit 15 year-old Nobahle ‘Mabhodwe’ Mdelwa (Dlala Ntombazane FC) and 17 year-old Sinazo Ntshota (City Lads) at the renowned LALIGA Academy in Madrid. All Photos: Supplied