The late Nelson Mandela once famously said: “Sports have the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
For Professional footballers, Under Armour athletes, JVW Football Club captains and all-around inspiration, football is just that: Inspiration, Opportunity, Possibility and Hope.
For 28-year-old, Robyn Moodaly, Football is more than just a game. As a talented midfielder and attacking-mid who puts boot to the ball for the Banyana Banyana national side, Robyn has played this special sport since the tender age of 7, long before the development of any female teams.
Robyn’s journey to becoming a professional sportswoman is defined by countless sacrifices, which she describes as life-changing. After moving to Pretoria at the early age of 8, she later moved across the Atlantic as a budding scholar in America – both experiences without any family by her side. After returning to South Africa, the rising star made her mark on the sport which she continues to do so today.
While attending the University of Pretoria’s High-Performance Centre, Moodaly came to the attention of South African women’s national football team selectors who drafted her into the national Under–17 squad. Moodaly was then part of the South African selection at the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. She made her debut for the senior national team aged 16 in January 2011, proving that age is just a number when it comes to skill and talent.
As a proud South African woman in South African Football, Robyn Moodaly has defied all odds within her career, continuously proving why she deserves a spot at the table of South African football greats.
She advocates passionately and proudly for women in sports, regardless of their age, background, or race, firmly believing that hard work yields deserving results.
With the rise of women’s sports over the past five years, you don’t have to look very hard to see female athletes described as heroes, role models or being compared favourably to male athletes for their behaviour and composure. But, it wasn’t always like this – especially for someone like Robyn who is currently excelling in a once male-only dominated sport.
In order to rise above such challenges, Robyn Moodaly, the professional that she is, credits 3 elements of her career; Mental toughness, Team Spirit and playing a vital role in Women’s Sports.
Robyn: In order to be a professional sportswoman, you need to be able to have a strong sense of mental toughness. Keeping my mental state on a high level as a woman playing in this type of sport is never easy, but it is a challenge I face head-on and with positivity. Being a woman in the sports industry itself is always going to be challenging, however, I have that tough mental strength and mentality that I believe will get me through any challenge. I always remind myself of my “why’s” – why I am doing this, why I am playing this sport, why I have the goals that I do. You have to be able to overcome some of the mental challenges and be professional in that way, it’s a skill you learn. Discipline and commitment play a big role in maintaining mental toughness and I believe those elements are what have pushed me to where I am today. To shed some light, I had ACL injuries on both my knees, more than once, which saw me not being able to be a part of the last World Cup, yet that hasn’t stopped me. Nothing will stop me. I have always been the type of person that doesn’t give up and that has always been my mentality.
Robyn: My team, and the idea of being in a team, means unity. You walk onto that field and it’s not a team, it’s a sisterhood. You feel protected as a team; you feel supported and lifted when you not having a good game; you celebrate good games together; and ultimately you cannot do it alone. For me “team” is everything… You succeed as a team, you lose together as a team, and ultimately, the best things happen when there’s unity and like-minded goals within the team. Being part of a team is something so special.
MY FUTURE IN WOMEN’S SPORT
Robyn: For the youth, I believe we have set a very good platform to inspire and motivate. For me personally, I come from an area in the Eastern Cape where a lot of my friends and family do not have the same opportunities that I had. Being fortunate enough to move to Pretoria and attend a boarding school, I was exposed to more opportunities than I ever thought possible. As the Banyana team, who just won AFCON, I believe it serves as a great message to the youth to show them that anything is possible. The sport has battled for many years, but look where we are today. After qualifying for the World Cup for the second time, also having been to the Olympics, as well as playing in a semi-pro league – that is something I never thought was possible. I believe that the platform we are setting, which I am involved in, is a great way to help the youth and show them that anything is possible. I truly believe that things are only going to get better for women’s football in South Africa.
“To me, football is endless possibilities; it’s endless opportunities. Making connections, sharing memories, creating moments in time with family and friends is what football has afforded me and I owe it all to the sport,” She ends.
Robyn Moodaly, a trailblazing force in women’s football, continues to defy expectations and break barriers in a once male-dominated sport. Her unwavering mental toughness, unwavering commitment to teamwork, and unwavering belief in the future of women’s sports have propelled her to greatness.
As a true inspiration and role model, Robyn will continue to carry the torch for aspiring athletes, proving that anything is possible. For the World Cup star, football is not just a game; it is a catalyst for change and we cannot wait to see what she does next.
Robyn Moodaly is proud to be a part of the latest Under Armour collection – Journey To Compete. Honouring the blood, sweat and tears behind every athlete’s journey to success.
Robyn is seen here wearing the HeatGear® Armour High Sports Bra accompanied by the Heat Gear Authentics Long Shorts.