Teen female footballer nabs sponsorship to play for RCD Espanyol de Barcelona Academy

Fifteen-year-old Saaniyah Domingo is one step closer to making her dreams of becoming an international footballer a reality, having received a sponsorship from Vuma to become  a part of the Reial Club Deportiu (RCD) Espanyol de Barcelona Academy squad, who will also compete in IberCup, the world’s biggest International youth football tournament.

Through the sponsorship, Domingo’s training, kit and place in the academy will all be covered in full for the year, allowing her to pursue her passion for football and learn from the best in one of the most formative years of her career.

“My passion is football – I’ve been in love with it since I was a little girl,” she says. “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.”

With the onset of Covid-19, much like many other South Africans, Domingo’s father had lost his job, making it tough for the Domingo family to be able to fund his daughter’s way through the academy on their own.

“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, and grateful for the support of RCD Espanyol de Barcelona Academy CEO, Michael Bender, and his team,” says Domingo’s mother, Farana Domingo.

“From the age of nine, she used to 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,” adds Farana.

Vuma, the country’s largest fibre connectivity provider, says that alongside its objectives of creating opportunities for communities across the country through the power of connectivity, its goal is to provide the 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. Taylor Kwong, CSI Manager at Vuma, says that 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,” says Kwong.