Kirsten – a rising soccer star

Kirsten Santillan won the 2015 Player of the Year and Top Goal Scorer for the junior team awards.

Growing up in a family of boys, Kirsten Santillan (13) was always playing with the boys and soccer was always a part of that routine.

Kirsten has been playing soccer since she was seven years old.

“My brothers always played soccer and as a little girl, I would join in the game. My family enjoys it, and even though my mother initially had reservations about me playing soccer, she and my father are my biggest supporters,” said Kirsten.

Since there were no girls soccer teams in her area, she joined a boys soccer team, Olympia FC, until she was scouted by the Janine van Wyk (JvW) Girl Football Development programme in 2014.

She has since progressed to join the JVW FC team.

JVW Girl Football Development is a programme that promotes mass participation in women’s football.

The programme’s primary mission is to develop young girls through a professionally structured high school league, which allows players with great potential to be scouted for the club’ structure. JVW is based in Befordview.

In December 2015, Kirsten was selected for the U/17 National Team training camp.

She won the 2015 Player of the Year and Top Goal Scorer for the junior team awards. She was rewarded at the JVW Annual Awards held at the Kempton Park Civic Centre in November last year.

“I worked hard to reach my goals because I want to progress to higher levels in the sport. One day I want to see myself playing for Basetsana FC and Banyana Banyana,” said Kirsten.

Kirsten was one of two girls selected to represent the Eastern Local Football Association in the U/13 age group (boys team).

The team went on to win the inter-district tournament.

Buli Sonqishe

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