One highlight follows the other.

After three years of planning, Young Bafana finally put the local Girls Football in the spotlight by presenting a three day girls camp at their Headquarters in Broadlands Strand. The highlight and face of the camp was none less than Julia Simic.

The former professional soccer player, who has played for FC Bayern Munich, VFL Wolfsburg, West Ham United and AC Milan, among others, has been committed to promoting girls football for years with tours of her own throughout Germany. The former national player, who is now successful as a co-coach of the German U17 girls national team, made her way to Young Bafana with a Sky camera team to portray the girls living conditions and social challenges in addition to the actual camp, and to promote relevant educational workshops. The camp was attended by girls from the surrounding townships and the greater Helderberg area which ensured a perfect mix of cultures, a great atmosphere and irrepressible cohesion and unity.

As for the camp…. – for three days, around 40 girls had the opportunity to get to know all facets of football with Julia and her team of coaches. Day one began at 08:30 with a little activation and various games to warm up the whole body. Then it was time for the education session, at which the girls had to work out and present their ideas and concepts of a perfect professional football player as well as those a good coach. In the latter part of the first day, the girls went through four different stations and proved their technical as well as tactical understanding. They were treated to delicious fruits throughout the day and ended with a sandwich to munch on the way home.

Julia Simic giving a talk in a gym to female soccer players at the Young Bafana Arena during a soccer camp.
The participants of the Young Bafana Girls Camp by Julia Simic celebreating on the pitch of the YB Arena.
Smiling Participants of the Young Bafana Girls Camp by Julia Simic doing an exercise with clapping.

Day two started like the day before early in the morning with an activation and smaller reaction games. In the ensuing education session, it was the girls´ turn to deal with the daily tasks of a coach. How do I plan a good training session, what materials do I have available, what topic do I want to cover? All this and much more was combined by the girls within their group, in their own small training form and carried out on the pitch. After the subsequent fruit break, the girls returned to the field, where four stations had already been set up and they had fun and enjoyed the rest of the morning. With an ice cream treat they went home to rest and gather their strength for the final day.

On the last of the three camp days, a small mini world championship was held in fine weather and brilliant sunshine. Spread over three fields, the girls fought for the tournament victory and were rewarded with medals and a certificate at the end. A perfect girls camp came to an end and the girls expressed their enthusiasm through singing and dancing. Without exception, happy faces and satisfied coaches were the result. “I think we saw a lot of smiling faces at the end of the day, and that was the main goal, a lot of girls who were just incredibly happy, could be themselves and let off steam”, said Julia Simic.

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