ON QUOTAS …
WHEN it comes to quotas in sport, Sam Ramsamy says all South Africans must have equal opportunities.
“When all South Africans are given equal opportunities and we select a team, it will be done on merit and it will not matter if it is all black, all white, or half black and half white. But this is not happening at the moment and it is a problem,” said Ramsamy.
He suggested that to address the imbalance, it was vital to go back to grassroots sports. “We need to revive community sports and we need to address the issue of all sporting codes at schools. This must be mandatory.
“We must identify children with aptitude. We also need to identify sports where it is easy to access opportunities. At the moment these are soccer, track and field, boxing and volleyball.”
He said the government must support these sports at local, provincial and national levels. Other sports that did not provide equal opportunities should receive minimum support.
Ramsamy, who was a member of the bidding team for the Commonwealth Games to be hosted in Durban in 2022, attended these games from 1974 to 2014 with the exception of one in Edinburgh in 1986.
“Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister of the UK, made a statement that she would support the economic links with apartheid South Africa, and African governments said that if that was the case, African countries would not participate in the games. Caribbean countries, even Cyprus, did not send athletes and as a show of solidarity, I did not attend. “
Ramsamy said the atmosphere at the games that he attended over the years was “friendly and exciting”.
“Expect a spectacle. These games will do Durban good because they will increase tourism and many airlines are considering using the city as a hub. It will boost economic activity and employment.”
He said sceptics might talk about cost, but facilities would become legacy projects.