Team SA return!!
As team South Africa returns from Beijing today, with only a very small group of supporters, I was struck by how a cloud of disappointment hung over them. They felt as if they had failed and while they did not exactly cover themselves in glory in terms of the medals, they did manage to participate and all of them gave of their bests.The question must be asked as to the level of support they received from the authorities in terms of coaching and financing.
We need to stop romanticizing the notions like “one day you are in a mine and the next day you are representing your country” We need to develop our grass roots support of all sporting codes and pump money into the system to develop the talent.
The rainbow nation can no longer survive on sentiment alone, the various sporting codes must take up there mantel of delivering the stars and the government needs to ensure that these codes have the funding that they require to train the future stars.
If we look at Australia, we can see how seriously they have taken this and have concentrated on developing their athletes. The one thing we all know is that winning teams build national pride and national pride is one of the catalysts to economic growth and social development.
A plea then to government drive money into the codes so that they can develop the athletes, start now, London is just four short years away!