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Friday, 26 August 2016

Extraordinary Women: Railien Neilson

Railien Neilson is bringing about big changes in sports in the higher education sector.

A sports administrator in Department of Sports at the Cape Town Campus, Neilson is the driving force behind the development of handball at South African universities.

A European sport, handball was only introduced to South African university’s several years ago, but today, thanks to Neilson, CPUT hosted the first University Sports South Africa Handball tournament that recently took place at the Bellville campus.

Her journey with handball began in 2013, when Neilson was elected as the chairperson of the Western Cape Handball Association and tasked with developing the sport at university level.

Neilson says thanks to the support of CPUT Sports Development Officer, Ruth Saunders and the South Africa Handball Federation, she attended various handball training courses.

“I had to learn how the structure works from club to Provincial and then to national level,” she says.

At that time, only four institutions were involved in handball, however, today handball clubs are being established at universities across South Africa.

Apart from handball, Neilson plays various other strategic roles in sport development at university level and in the community.

In 2013, she was selected as the Women in Sport representative for the Western Province Sport Council, a position she proudly held for two years.

Neilson says the position afforded her the platform to engage with sport communities and address the challenges faced by women in sport.

“In South Africa the focus is still mainly on male sports. Females are not given enough exposure,” she says.

“My goal is to promote social inclusion, equity, education and leadership opportunities for women residing in the province,” she says.

* To join the CPUT handball team or for more information on this sports, please contact me Neilson at 021 460 3844 or Ruth Saunders at 021 460 3541.

Written by Candes Keating

Tel: +27 21 959 6311
Email: keatingc@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculties; the Bellville and Wellington Campuses, and research and innovation news.