Women’s sport is becoming the norm but we still face challenges, says Banyana Banyana’s Robyn Moodaly

Robyn Moodaly feels although women’s sport has grown there are still issues facing players and teams. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP

Robyn Moodaly feels although women’s sport has grown there are still issues facing players and teams. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP

Published Aug 20, 2023


Robyn Moodaly is loving the fact the in 2023 women's sport has become the norm, but she feels there are still a lot of challenges Banyana Banyana and her fellow sportswomen face.

This year has seen the an exponential interest and growth in various women’s sporting codes. It started off with our very own Proteas Women, who reached the final of the T20 World Cup final, where they lost to world number one Australia. A feat that hasn’t been achieved by their male counterparts.

Now, Banyana Banyana have been on an upward curve for the last few years, having become perennial winners of the Women's Cosafa Cup and are the current African Champions.

Desiree Ellis’ team were the first South African side to reach the Round of 16 of the World Cup, something Bafana Bafana have never done.

And earlier in August, the curtain was brought down on a successful Netball World Cup. The Proteas might have only managed a 6th place finish, but they certainly won some hearts and added to the hype of making sure women's sport got the recognition it deserves.

Moodaly speaking on a Spaces event held by sports apparel brand, Under Armour on X, former known as Twitter, says the recognition women’s sport has received is a great reward for all of their hard work.

“It’s become a norm where the topic is women sport, everywhere you go it’s women sport. It’s about supporting women and how we can do better,“ says Moodaly.

“We did well winning last years AFCON and did really well at the Women’s World Cup, even regarding all the challenges we faced, to be a part of such and amazing group and to be a part of this niche (sport), we also saw the netball (Proteas) and cricket (Proteas Women) and rugby, (do well), to be a part of this industry is just phenomenal and I am extremely proud.”

Moodaly started her football journey at the tender age of 7-year-old, playing with her boy cousins but started to take the game seriously by the age of 12. She also joined a high performance centre at this time and this is where she began playing soccer with girls.

From there her career took off, she was scouted to play for the U17 national side and went up the ranks and eventually making it into the Banyana team, when she was just 16. She has played in all major competitions including the Olympics.

She is now a household name in team, currently plying her trade at the JVW FC, the team of South African soccer legend Janine van Wyk.

Moodaly says although the game has grown in leaps and bounds, there are still several challenges women teams and players face.

She feels these issue of not been taken seriously something that still plagues women’s sport.

“The biggest thing is we need to stop comparing men and women. When we (Banyana) go out and we give our all and we get success from it and not just to prove to anyone and to compare us to men but to actually go and put in the work. ”

“The challenges that we are facing is that is about being taken seriously and not getting undermind because we are women, that comes with the industry.”

“We are urging everyone to take us seriously, I can list the tournaments we have qualified for, we won the WAFCON, how much more must we do to be taken seriously?”

“We are still asking for a professional league, these are the challenges we are facing now. If you look at the squad, we have players that play abroad and they help the team tremendously, their professionalism speaks volumes but we have players that are playing at home and wanting to be at that level but have to work part-time jobs.”

“How to get to that elite level and play on the biggest stage and have a part-time job and you can’t focus on your (football career)?“

On Sunday women’s sport will take centre stage one again when England will take on Spain in the final of the Women’s World Cup at Stadium Australia. This match will close the tournament that has been dubbed as the most successful in the events history.