No holding back for Banyana Banyana
29 June 2012
Amanda Dlamini, captain of South Africa's national women's football team, Banyana Banyana, says she and her teammates will be going all out to make the nation proud at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
"The nation can expect full participation from us at the Olympic Games as we are committed to perform to the best of our abilities and we've set goals as a team.
"We are hoping that we can reach the second round of the Olympic Games, but from here I think we should just take it one game at a time," Dlamini told BuaNews at the official announcement of Team SA's new sponsor, Sasol, at South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) House in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Dlamini said as a team they were expecting full support from the nation, which they have received since their qualifying matches began.
When asked about the spirit at the camp, the skipper said: "Everything is great. There is nervousness and excitement for the upcoming tournament; everyone is just ready for the tournament."
Banyana are drawn in a group that is regarded as the toughest of the three at the Games. It comprises current world champions Japan, Sweden, which finished third in the 2011 Fifa World Cup, and Canada, ranked seventh in the world.
'We are not afraid'
However, inspirational central Banyana defender Janine van Wyk said: "We are not afraid of our opponents ... We are going there with confidence and we believe that we will put up a good fight against them. We are ready for them."
She said they expected their first match against Sweden to be very tough. However, they would go there with full power to capitalise on the weaknesses of the Swedish national team.
Speaking at the unveiling of the sponsorship, Sascoc president Gideon Sam said: "Today is a happy day for us. On behalf of Sascoc, I'm very happy that a South African company that is committed to developing various sporting codes in our country came on board to support the SA Olympic team in a big way."
Sasol group executive Maurice Radebe said: "Our Paralympic men's wheelchair basketball and Banyana Banyana sponsorships have been exceptional investments and the remarkable performance of these teams has ensured they will be forming part of the London-bound Team South Africa.
"Our sponsorship of Team South Africa, [which] now also includes the Olympic team, brings a wonderful alignment to our support of the broader Team South Africa," Radebe said. "The sponsorship reinforces our commitment to supporting our teams and working with them to achieve their dreams.
"We are delighted to be involved with the two teams representing the country at the Olympics and Paralympics this year.
The extension of the sponsorship, to include Team South Africa at the 2012 Olympics, has developed from Sasol's sponsorship of Banyana Banyana.
Sasol has been a sponsor of the South African Paralympic team since 2007 and is also the sponsor of the South African men's wheelchair basketball team.
The London Olympic Games start on 27 July, while the Paralympics get under way on 29 August.