Team SA has named a team that is both a mix of experience as well as new talent for the African Games. This year will see 226 athletes and 45 officials representing South Africa in Ghana as the championship runs from 8-23 March 2024. It was initially set to take place in the second half of 2023, but was moved due to unforeseen circumstances.
South Africa will be taking part in their eighth African Games as they made a return to the event in 1995 after the country’s return from isolation.
With some of the sporting codes planning to host their National Championships in April, a number of the experienced athletes will not be available for the games in Ghana. However, this will then mean that younger sportswomen will have the opportunity to make their mark in their respective sports as Team SA builds for the future.
Nevertheless, there are set to be some high-profile stars who will be participating. Judoka Michaela Whitebooi as well as athlete Jo-Ane van Dyk will represent Team SA, the duo were both at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Whitebooi is also no stranger to the African Games as she was the flag bearer in Rabat, Morocco in 2019, where she won a silver medal in the judo 48kg category.
“These Games are vitally important to Team SA and we are fully committed to sending the best available team to Ghana,” said SASCOC president Barry Hendricks.
“It is a big squad that shows the commitment South Africa has to compete in the major African events, while also providing opportunities for athletes to compete at the highest level. We congratulate every member of the squad on their selection.
“The African Games have historically been a successful springboard for Team SA athletes who have gone on to claim world championships and international glory. All of Penny Heyns (six golds in 1995 Harare and 1999 Johannesburg) and Caster Semenya (gold in 2015 in Brazzaville), were some of the African Games champions who were also Olympic gold medallists,” Hendricks added.
SASCOC CEO, Nozipho Jafta wished all the athletes taking part well, as they endeavour to win a medal at the Games.
“Every time an athlete puts on their national colours they do so with pride and the knowledge that they are representing their country. We are heading to Ghana with high hopes and expectations. The Games will be a highlight in many of the elite athletes’ careers and a springboard to even bigger and better things. These games are part of a bigger calendar for Team SA, as we look to the Sumer Games in Paris 2024 and LA 2028.”
Team SA will be represented across 18 different sports in Ghana, including, for the first time at a multi-code Games, Arm Wrestling and Cricket. Eight of these sporting codes (Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon, and Wrestling) are Paris 2024 Olympics qualification events. A fact worth mentioning is that hockey makes it’s return to the Games for the first time since 2003, meaning it will end the 21-year hiatus from participation in the competition.
Team SA had quite the medal haul in Rabat five years ago, where they won a whopping 86 medals of which 36 were gold, 26 were silver, and 24 bronze, seeing them finish in fourth place on the medal table.
The squad is set to depart from South Africa at staggered intervals, with the first code leaving on 27 February 2024 and the larger contingent departing on 5 March 2024.
The Team South Africa Squad to the African Games in Ghana
Rosemary Botha, Meri Prinsloo
Taylon Bieldt, Miranda Coetzee, Ashley Erasmus, Marione Fourie, Zeney Geldenhuys, Jessica Groenewald, Nicole Janse van Rensburg, Phindile Kubheka, Joviale Mbisha, Nwabisa Mjoli, Shirley Nekhubui, Mire Reinstorf, Ischke Senekal, Banele Shabangu, Yolande Stander, Angelique Strydom, Tonet Tallie, Tamzin Thomas, Collett Uys, Mckyla van der Westhuizen, Jo-Ane van Dyk, Jana van Schalkwyk, Shannon Verster, Marli Viljoen
Amy Ackerman, Deidre Laurens, Diane Olivier, Johanita Scholtz
Thandolwethu Mathiba, Phiwokuhle Mnguni
Jesse February, Anzel Laubcher
Nobulumko Baneti, Joy Botha, Annerie Dercksen, Jenna Evans, Ghandi Jafta, Leah Jones, Simone Lourens, Karabo Meso, Seshine Naidu, Kayla Reyneke, Nondumiso Shangase, Miane Smith
Sonica Klopper, Maude le Roux, Kelsey van Schoor, Lucy Young
Taheera Augousti, Quanita Bobbs, Dirkie Chamberlain, Erin Christie, Kayla de Waal, Aphiwe Dimba, Paris-Gail Isaacs, Tarryn Lombard, Antonette Louw, Ntsopa Mokoena, Edith Molikoe, Hannah Pearce, Rheabetswe Phume, Celia Seerane, Kayla Swarts, Anelle van Deventer, Bianca Wood, Onthatile Zulu
Donne Breytenbach, Charme Griesel, Jasmin Martin, Michaela Whitebooi
Marinda Roetz, Danielle van Wyk, Maxine Willemse
Caitlin de Lange, Milla Drakopoulos, Georgia Els, Stephanie Houtman, Taylor Jonker, Leigh McMorran, Kate Meyer, Simone Moll, Hannah Mouton, Tasnim Nabbie, Tamzyn Robson, Catherine van Rensburg
Lailaa Edwards, Mushfiquh Kalaam, Danisha Patel, Roschika Sonday
Jaydean Kaars, Rethabike Masilo, Palesa Ramokoka, Donica Tafel
Isabelle Kruger, Zoe Kruger, Kaitlyn Ramduth, Mari-Louise van Zyl
Shanae Williams, Vicky van der Merwe
Laryne Jefferies, Anneke Spies
Minette Kruger, Lillian Mbena, Bea Meiring
Photo caption: Team SA has named a team that is both a mix of experience as well as new talent for the African Games. This year will see 226 athletes and 45 officials representing South Africa in Ghana as the championship runs from 8-23 March 2024. It was initially set to take place in the second half of 2023 but was moved due to unforeseen circumstances. Photo: USSAStudent on X