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Women’s Month: Zulfah Gierdien-Abrahams

I am the Head of Operations at Laureus South Africa and my role is to ensure organisational effectiveness by providing leadership for the organisation’s financial and operational functions.

I am also a “mompreneur” and in my spare time, I coach under 9’s at Transition Football Club.

Being part of a movement or family that impact young people’s lives on a daily basis around the world in many ways through sport! My life was changed through sport, so I have first-hand experience of the power thereof and hearing of or seeing similar changes from these young people keeps me motivated and pushes me to do more.

Growing up I had little to no positive role models but since I stepped into the sport circle, I have gained many.

It’s not easy choosing one particular person as I have multiple positive role models that inspired me and many who continue to do so in different ways or many aspects of life. Then there are the role models that shows me what NOT to do or be like which is equally useful to me too!


Financial resources and minimal investment into developing female sport. Women need to value and enjoy sport if we want female athletes to have more visibility. My take is that women need to value female athletes more than models and reality stars. Encouraging and exposing young girls to sport at an early age for them to have any interest. Therefore, it’s important to raise awareness of our great female athletes and the frequent televising of female sport in order to reach these young girls.


By visibly and audibly applauding the achievements of women in sport on their various platforms or circles of influence. Also, for men to not only be making space for women around the boardroom table but give them a voice too, so they can drive and lead the female aspects of the sport.

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are ALIVE”


The reality is; YOU can follow your passion and love for sports; however, patience is critical! The sport industry is fast paced, exciting and full of diverse opportunities although like all situations it’s what you make of it!


To seek understanding in life experiences and people. Yes, you will endure some hardships but rather than ask, “why me” look to understand the purpose and lesson in what is happening. What did you get or who did you meet as a result of this experience plus how has it changed your life?


My objective is to continue to make a difference in young people’s lives through the power of sport!

My 6-year-old daughter asked me a few months back WHY are all her coaches’ boys and right there I realized I needed to change the landscape for her and many other young females. I got the opportunity to do my CAF D football license and then connected with a local football club were I now coach both my daughters and many other under 9 girls and boys. So, in this regard continue to change the landscape first hand on the female front for female coaches! If I could do it after being off the field for over 15 years, anyone can!


Image by Greg Beadle


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