Five South African women who are making waves in the sport industry

Five South African women who are making waves in the sport industry

For decades, sport has been dominated by men, but that is changing in modern society.

Gerda Steyn
Gerda Steyn/ Instagram

More women are pursuing careers in sport.

Girls and Women in Sport Day, which happens on 5 February, is dedicated to celebrating such women. 

Let’s take a look at some of South Africa’s favourite women in sport. 

Caster Semenya

Two-time Olympic 800m gold medalist Caster Semenya has been flying the South African flag high.

She is a world-class athlete who endured much criticism from the media over her naturally high testosterone levels. 

Caster fought for gender equality in sport. 

She says she doesn’t only do things for herself, but understands there are people looking up to her. 

“I’m living for people here. There are young boys and girls out there in the world who look up to me. I can never disappoint them. So, I always have to behave in a good manner. Ya, I'm just doing it for them,” she told Flotrack in an interview.

In 2018, she won the Sports Star and Sportswoman of the Year awards at the SA Sports Awards. 

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Gerda Steyn

Athlete Gerda Steyn is a gifted long-distance runner. 

She is the first woman to run the Comrades Marathon in under six hours. 

Gerda started running professionally less than five years ago but has gone on to break world records. 

She was crowned the champion of the 2019 Comrades Marathon after she completed the race in under six hours. 

Bongiwe Msomi

South Africa's netball captain Bongiwe Msomi led the Proteas to the World Cup semi-finals in England in 2019. 

The netball star has played professionally in England and Australia. She is the 2015 KZN Sportswoman of the Year, 2015 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League: Mid-Court Player of the Series, and 2014 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League: Player’s Player of the Series. 

Bongiwe has also worked as an ambassador for the Girls Only Project – which is an initiative that empowers women and girls through sport. 

She is so passionate about empowering women and girls in sport that she founded the Bongi Msomi Netball Project (BMNetball).

Thembi Kgatlane

Footballer Thembi Kgatlane has taken women's football by storm.

Thanks to her excellent playing skills, she scored goals that saw Banyana Banyana qualify for the Women's World Cup in 2019.  

She made history by being the first goalscorer for South Africa in the Women’s World Cup. 

Natalie du Toit

Swimmer Natalie du Toit is the first disabled athlete to swim in the Olympics. 

She started competing in swimming competitions on an international level at the mere age of 14 and went on to become a champion. 

Natalie made history by qualifying to swim in the 800-meter able-bodied freestyle final. 

In 2003, she won the gold in the 800-meter freestyle where she had competed against all able-bodied swimmers. In 2006 she won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. 

Natalie uses the challenges she faced in life to motivate others. She is a respected public speaker. 

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