Transformation remains a setback in to South African sports industry and has always been a headache to our sports administrators, federations, and government and mother bodies of sports. It is challenge and issue that remains unsolved and at times we try to move slightly away from it as South African citizens and sport structure to really get mechanisms to overcome this stigma of monopoly dominance. Indeed it takes two to tango as we cannot blame one federation or blame government for delivery and development in sport in order to transform the sporting codes in South African sport. The citizens may also ask several questions as to what is transformation and why do we want to transform sport?? It is simply because there is monopoly dominance in certain sporting code, some of the talented athletes do not have access to participate and there is no fairness in our sport umbrella.
For example the issue of inclusion of disability sport still remain a challenge and when we look in terms of statistics our Paralympics crew always shine in the Olympic competition and other competition. The issue of providing mechanisms to increase the pool of women participating in all sporting code also remain a challenge and now we have Banyana Banyana and hockey team competing in the 2012 London Olympics. Surely this is a good turn that our women can do more if given equal opportunity to participate in other sport code like wrestling, cycling, archery and others and have equal control. We also have a case where there is 90% of certain race making up a starting team of a certain sporting code of a national team and also individual dominance in some sport like cycling, motor sport ,archery and others due to lack of other racial group given equal opportunity to have access to facilities and exposure to this environment. Surely we don’t expect kids growing up in rural Limpopo, north west and other parts of rural South Africa to make better professional golfers if they have never been exposed to golf or tennis court or even swimming pools.
Transformation is about access, equity and equal participation in different sporting code.
Are we merging to this definition of transformation?
If the answer is no, where do we start to engage on these?? Do our children in rural areas, our future professional athletes have access to facilities and exposed to nurture their talents? SASCOC has recently released team South Africa to London Olympic and i can assure you 90% of Team South Africa is white citizens. The biceps are based on greediness of our sport administrators and racial matters and its doing the country no favour as we always sing to the issue of sport development within our country. Again action speaks louder than word. Our own minister of Sport and Recreation Mr Fikile Mbalula always sings these song of sport development and transformation, but has he been to those rural areas where development is really critical rather being scooped in the office and attending luxurious sports events don’t expect someone to feel my situation if you have never been exposed or visited my place. You cant talk about development in rural areas if you have never been there and see how people feel.
How many athletes from rural north west, Limpopo, western cape been produced despite lack of facilities, that shows there is potential,so why delay development and invest there. We talk the Hendrick Mokganyetsis,The Mulaudzis, Caster Semenyas, Makhaya Ntinis, Aaron Mokoenas, you name them. Where do we start to make sure that our sport is transformed??
Surely you cannot produce one black player for national team in a period of 3years that is impossible. Where is transparency there? To fight this stigma it is very imperative to sort out the office bearers and administration of sport. Surely we cannot start by blaming teams and coaches. That will be taking our eyes off the ball. How do you transform sport if you do not have strong and well established provincial sport councils? What is the relationship between SRSA,Provincial government of sport and recreation, federations ,SALGA,SASCOC, Municipalities ,NGO’s and the community as whole? Surely these bodies must work under one umbrella and ensure sustainability to control funds for development.
Building and sorting on the administration of these will ensure that we embark on a number of capacity-building programmes that focus on developing talent through training and empowering coaches in rural communities, recruit technical officials to ensure equity and fairness, sport administrators that are passionate and well equipped with knowledge and athletes that are well trained and groomed.
Ensure that clubs are established and league structures which are well monitored by sports councils. Auditing the misuse of MLG funds granted to municipalities for the development of building sport facilities. School sports project will always get recognition within and COSSASA to become active in playing a role of transformation and form partnerships with all bodies.
These struggle continues and we rally behind team south African and im sure you will agree will agree with me when i say there is still more need to be done to transform certain sporting code, rugby come to the picture, cricket as well and it’s a very big challenge to SRSA to divert this stigma.
It is indeed a long walk to freedom of sport.
SPORT AND RECREATION COORDINATOR