PORT Elizabeth-born former SA under-20 women’s national football team (Basetsana) captain Kaylin Swart is jetting off to the US.
The 19-year-old has received a three-year scholarship to study and play soccer at the AIB College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa.
The goalkeeper, who started her football career at Glenville Celtic in Gelvandale, was also part of the Banyana Banyana team that competed in the 12-nation Women’s Cup in Cyprus last year.
“This is a great opportunity for me, which doesn’t come every day,” she said
“I am very excited I will be able to finish my studies and also play football at the same time overseas.
“The opportunity will also enable my football to get more exposure with international teams, even though it is not my first time going abroad for football.”
AIB College of Business sport teams are known as the Eagles and their football team is campaigning in the US College League
Kaylin said she was recruited by Basetsana coach Sheryl Botes to join the side while completing her sport and events management studies.
“The coach of the college in the United States, Justin Vorster, asked Sheryl for women players he can recruit in South Africa.
“Sheryl must have spoken highly of me and my performance to him.
“I then received a call from Justin offering me a scholarship, which I could not resist.”
Kaylin said the scholarship would run until 2017 and she would be the second South African to attend at the college after Banyana Banyana midfielder Robyn Moodaly was recruited last year.
Kaylin represented Safa Eastern Cape at all junior levels before joining the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.
She was then awarded a sport scholarship to study at the University of the Western Cape.
She is the daughter of Port Elizabeth teacher and sport administrator Elroy Swart.
Swart said it made him very proud to know his daughter would make the country and the province proud abroad.
“She became involved in football at the age of seven and she has played in many soccer tournaments with boys,” he said.
“I feel very confident that she will make it very far with football and her dedication and hard work in soccer will pay off well.
“I am looking forward to see her fulfilling her dreams in football.” – Mthetho Ndoni