The South African Football Association, CATHSSETA and gsport4girls were invited to present to delegates at the first-ever TuksFootball Women’s Football conference, in Pretoria on Saturday. Pictured (from left to right) are Pearl Mosoane (who did the vote of thanks for TuksFootball), Maureen Mashabane (from CATHSSETA), Mmane Boikanyo (conference organiser), Jeff Monnakgotla (from SAFA) and Kass Naidoo. Photo: Supplied

TuksFootball hosted their first annual Women’s Football Conference on Saturday. The aim of the conference was to bring female football teams together with industry experts to educate and inform the teams about issues that affect the game.

The conference addressed the possible funding avenues for teams and players, building and managing their teams as a brand as well as changing the perceptions of the women’s game.

Maureen Mashabane urged delegates to volunteer as much as possible to gain skills in areas they intend to pursue a career. Photo: SuppliedMaureen Mashabane from CATHHSSETA, the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority, shared insights on the funding aspect of sports. She highlighted the role of CATHSSETA and shed some light on how the organization allocates funding to parties that are in need of financial assistance, how students can apply for bursaries and how they can assist graduates in finding jobs. Her advice to individuals who have an interest in working in sports is to volunteer their services first to get work place experience and to create a network.

One of the main issues that women in football face is the issue of perception. Jeff Monnakgotla who is Director of Competitions at the South African Football Association (SAFA) spoke passionately about the topic. He introduced a concept that SAFA is working on which will create a lot of excitement around the women’s game and help women’s football to become more professional.

Monnakgotla believes that people involved with the women’s game need to create more leveraging opportunities for sponsors as well as increasing coverage for women’s football in media, especially television.

“We should not try to compete against the men but rather create a product that can make women’s football standout separately from the men’s game”, said Monnakgotla as he answered questions put to him by the participants of the conference.

gsport4girls Founder, and mother of two, Kass Naidoo shared her experiences in the sports industry and how she created gsport4girls. She highlighted the challenges that women have in the sports industry and how the use of online media can help teams and athletes build their respective brands.

The former cricket commentator encouraged everyone to start seeking advice from people on how to build their brand. Her advice to women in sport is to “celebrate who you are as a woman”.

TuksFootball intends to host two conferences annually. One will focus on the technical aspect of the women’s game; targeting coaches and fitness trainers and the other will address the industry at large targeting team owners and administrators.