Let’s leave pol­i­tics out of it

CityPress - - Sport -

Dhirshan Gobind Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, KwaZulu-Na­tal The Proteas’ lat­est se­ries de­feat should set alarm bells ring­ing, not just for cricket but for most of our sport­ing codes and na­tional teams.

The coun­try’s hopes were high a mere 12 months ago when we at­tempted to win the Africa Cup of Na­tions and both cricket and rugby world cups, all within one cal­en­dar year. I am sure we all know by now how that panned out.

With re­gard to our big three sports, Bafana Bafana’s slide down the world rank­ings con­tin­ues, the Spring­boks don’t even have a coach and the Proteas’ num­ber one rank­ing is now a thing of the past.

The big ques­tion is why is this hap­pen­ing to our once proud sport­ing na­tion?

There are var­i­ous rea­sons that each of the codes suf­fers: poor plan­ning; political in­ter­fer­ence; con­tro­ver­sial trans­for­ma­tion is­sues; poor team selections; lack of grass roots de­vel­op­ment; lack of qual­ity coaches; and a grad­ual de­cline of stan­dards in our lo­cal and pro­vin­cial teams, among many other is­sues.

There is a long way to go be­fore we reach the heights that made us a feared sport­ing na­tion.

The var­i­ous bod­ies and pow­ers that be need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and im­ple­ment proper strate­gies to some­how ring in the nec­es­sary changes re­quired to de­liver tan­gi­ble re­sults. Most im­por­tantly, stop mix­ing sports with pol­i­tics. So what does 2016 hold? A bet­ting man would not count on our Olympic team or the Proteas in the ICC World Twenty20. It seems that only in­di­vid­ual sports such as golf have a bright fu­ture. SA Rugby Union pres­i­dent Ore­gan Hoskins has al­ready stated that trans­for­ma­tion will take prece­dence over Spring­bok re­sults.

With such a mind-set, one feels our fate has al­ready been sealed. Many die-hard fans and sup­port­ers are bound to be lost. Good luck, South Africa!


RE­TIRED Lley­ton Hewitt in ac­tion dur­ing day four of the Aus­tralian Open

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