Based in Berdfordview, Janine Van Wyk Football Development has played a huge role in developing girls in Gauteng. This institution boasts with players of different age groups from the JVW Schools League to private trainings and a club structure which consists of an U13, Reserve and First Team. This initiative was founded by Banyana Banyana Captain, Janine Van Wyk in 2012.

Their recent partnership with ESCA Wanderers aims to teach young girls football while also focusing on their academics. Speaking of this initiative, Van Wyk says she applauds ESCA for also focusing on different sporting codes. “In 2019 we partnered with ESCA Wanderers to launch a full time high performance training regime. This partnership assists players who are concentrating on a football career by aligning football and educational needs. ESCA Wanderers works hand in hand with different sporting codes, giving top performing athletes the opportunity to focus on their chosen sport, whilst creating a good balance between school and sport,” Janine Van Wyk said before adding that she believes school sports is very critical, “Sports are very important and should definitely be encouraged in their school curriculum. Sports help children maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and assist in building character,” she added.

The Banyana Banyana Captain believes that this partnership will help improve the girl’s football skills and enhance their mentality. “Players are able to fully focus on their chosen sport, and are able to receive top level coaching on a daily basis. We have also incorporated classroom sessions into the program, giving players much needed information to take their sport to another level.”

She says development coaches who work with young girls need to know that girls are eager to learn.  “Having a plan for what you do definitely helps. Try and implement your training sessions in accordance with your club vision,” Van Wyk concluded.

Margie La Grange, ESCA Wanderers principal is very excited about getting more girls to play football. “Sports are central to overall development, teaching children skills that cannot be taught in the classroom. At ESCA, it’s all about the balance between school and sports. Girls love football! More and more, we are seeing that girls are wanting to participate in the sport and are hungry to learn the skills and beat the boys!” La Grange said.

The Principal believes that with this partnership they can possibly help these young girls become professional players and possibly play abroad. “We are hoping to encourage young ladies to pursue successful careers in football, perhaps achieving scholarships abroad to play football and study overseas.”

She says parents who are interested in enrolling their young girls to the school need to know that their application procedure is stringent. Students are required to undergo an interview and academic assessment. In addition, football girls are required to do a football assessment to be accepted onto the JVW programme. For more information, please email Margie La Grange, Principal: margie@esca.org.za