SPORTS TRANSFORMATION REQUIRED AT GRASSROOTS LEVEL
By: Siphiwe Gabayi
Transformation in sport has been the talking point in South Africa recently with claims of shortage of black players in the national teams.
Zamani Mfusi, coach of the Ntuzuma Township cricket club, said that if there are to be more black players in the national teams, much still needs to be done on the grassroot level.
“Most black people in the townships do not understand sports like cricket and rugby so they tend not to focus on them, which leads to the lack of black players in the national team,” he said.
Government’s policy on transformation in sports and recreation states that transformation of teams should be from the bottom up.
According to the Transformation Charter, there should be a catch-up strategy in under-developed areas funded by government so that more young people from disadvantaged areas are afforded the opportunity to unleash their potential.
Mfusi added that cricket has a development programme that happens annually, the Sunfoil Township Schools Tournament. This is a platform for young ‘blacks’ to showcase their talent.
Lucky Biyela, sports writer at Unisa Radio said, “Transformation can be achieved if sports like cricket and rugby were to be introduced in schools especially in the townships and rural areas.
There must also be finances to buy playing kit and pay the staff that will be coaching to ensure continuity.”
Cricket South Africa has also started a competition called Kasi Challenge, where they bring the professional cricket players to play in the townships.
“The media must also broadcast these matches on free channels where it can be accessible to everyone,” said Biyela.