Multiple gold medallist and 800m and 1500m World Champion, Caster Semenya, is set for a new adventure outside athletics as she has joined a female football team, JVW Football Club, based in Gauteng, South Africa.
JVW Football Club is owned by Banyana Banyana Captain, Janine van Wyk, and that is the place Semenya is hoping to make a name for herself going forward.
The Olympic hero has literally been frozen out of the tracks following the new rules put in place by the International Athletics body, IAAF, which does not allow Semenya to run alongside female colleagues.
According to a statement by her representatives, Semenya 28, has always had a love for football, having played soccer at school and trained every day while growing up.
In this light, it is no shock that she has finally set her sights on playing competitive football.
Semenya will not be registered for the 2019 SAFA Sasol League, the league in which JVW plays, due to the transfer window being closed for the 2019 season. She will continue to train with the team in preparation for a 2020 debut.
When asked about her new challenge, Semenya responded: “I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team. I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club.”
JVW FC currently sit second on the Gauteng Sasol Log. They are two points (with three games in hand) behind leaders, Croesus Ladies. They have the ambition to qualify for playoffs and feature in the National League. SAFA has promised increased funding for the women’s game including bumped-up prize money for the Sasol League, although the details of the injection of cash remain hazy.