Here's another article I uploaded onto MyNews24, SPRINGBOK TRANSFORMATION dealing with the current ongoing national Rugby team's transformation issues.
It's been a big topic not only in South Africa but further vested interests in other rugby playing nations as well, not least of which being the World Champions, the New Zealand All Blacks. It's been said many times by those outside our shores, that the world needs the Springboks to be strong - more for fan service and the famed Springbok-All Black rivalry, over a hundred years old... it adds to the intrigue and drama, and story of the sporting stage.
South Africa has one of the biggest rugby playing populations in the world, and comparing ourselves to Australia and New Zealand, in terms of our rugby talent pool... well, we should be the best in the world. It's a burden we've placed on ourselves, yet time and again have failed to live up to. And of course in 1995 with the Nelson Mandela moment, it was assured, that our place was cemented in Rugby folklore, commemorated at last years Rugby World Cup, that this sport would come to mean more than just a game. Much like our All Black brothers across the ocean, where rugby is a religion, in SA, rugby is more of a symbol (and a passion).
Embedded in SA culture since the end of the 18th century, over time it has become a tool for division, and then for unity... and perhaps now again for division as the growing democracy reestablishes its identity.
And the Springboks, as the most successful national team, in many ways forms as the face of the nation, a representation of the country as a whole...
It is here is where the proverbial nerve is tapped.
Transformation has taken the form of Quota's when in reality, real transformation is needed. As one journalist put it "it's not about taking sport X & Y "away from white people", its a lament over all the potential star players (non-white) that haven't been found, all because of the elitist structures in our sporting codes, as well as institutionalized racism.
Quotas are not the solution, but they do force us to come to terms with the complacency and passivity with which our sporting institutions have truly reached out to impoverished and disadvantaged areas. This of course is a governmental issue as much as a sporting one...
The Lost Bafana - an article I wrote about the decline of our national football team Bafana Bafana.