Female footballer Saaniyah heads to RCD Espanyol de Barcelona Academy

Following Banyana Banyana’s phenomenal win, an aspirant female soccer star, Saaniyah Domingo, is making her way to Reial Club Deportiu (RCD) Espanyol de Barcelona Academy.

The team will be competing in the IberCup – the world’s biggest international youth football tournament. And like the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) 2022 Champions of,  Saaniyah hopes to be celebrated too.

The 15-year-old South African female footballer said the achievement of participating in the academy is a step forward in her realising her dream of playing internationally.

“My passion is football; I’ve been in love with it since I was a little girl. My father would tell us all these amazing stories from his days playing under-15, how he played against prominent player Frank Malouda, and it just inspired me.”

Domingo’s father lost his job due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but a sponsorship from Vuma came through to help  cover Domingo’s training, kit, and place in the academy for a year.  He said the sponsorship came in handy.

“We weren’t in a financial position to get Saaniyah into the training and fund her to be part of the academy, so we’re happy that the bursary application came through when it did,” said Domingo’s mother, Farana Domingo.

The proud mother said Saaniyah, would from the age of nine, sit on the bench watching her sister play at Wits. And while they would allow her to join in at practice, she was too young to play.

“But she’s always been driven in the sport. Even at the time she taught herself to tackle and juggle, up until now she’s still doing the same thing with the ball and I just want her to do her best, follow through and pursue her dream,” added Farana.

Taylor Kwong, CSI Manager at Vuma – the country’s largest fibre connectivity provider, said  part of the company’s objectives is to provide vital investment needed to make both the RCD Espanyol de Barcelona Academy and IberCup Youth Football Tournament accessible to countless talented children – in and beyond South Africa’s borders.

He said many of these children would otherwise never have had the opportunity to participate in a global renowned initiative at this level.

“We are proud to be creating opportunities that have the potential to change lives for individuals and communities, and understand the difficulties faced by many of these talented children, who – while fully deserving of the opportunity – simply do not have access to funding or resources to make their dream a reality. We look forward to seeing the long-term positive impact as the journey of our ongoing partnership continues into the future,” said Kwong.


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