By Lisa Bradshaw (Email: Weblink:
Sun 29 Aug 2010

How many of you out there have been watching or just taking note of the Inaugural Youth Olympic games? I am for one very excited about this new addition to major competition. I do understand that this might mean more stress for younger athletes but what an amazing opportunity for the youth to be able to compete and mix with different cultures of the world in preparation maybe of things to come!!

South Africa got nine medals according to other official sources and SASCOC sources 11 medals. Not quite sure but could be combined Africa relays that got us the 2 extra medals!! 5 medals were won by Chad le Clos of Westville Boys High for Swimming with One Gold and Jacques Du Plessis got the other gold for Discuss throw.

I know that all these athletes tried really hard and did a great job for South Africa but I have one question…

Where are all our talented youth!!!!

We have one of the best sport schooling systems in the world. Not many countries have such an integrated sport education system. Even in our close rival countries (Rugby and Cricket) like Australia, New Zealand and England they do not have sport in schools like we have besides a few elite private institutions. So how does the wealth of talent that exists in this country even at that age slip through the cracks.

My son is at senior primary level and many of you will have been to the school athletic meetings many schools are holding this term. Did you notice that talent!!!! I certainly did. What happens to it!! Too many schools are so wrapped up in there quests to be the best Rugby / Cricket schools around that they forget that talents of all sorts should be nurtured on the playing fields at schools.

I heard about an inter schools athletic meeting that they hold at Kings Park in Durban. 3 Meetings over 7 or 8 weeks. What a well organised day the first meeting was. I told a person from school to give the schedule to the sports masters at school. Their response was – ‘I hope she (me) doesn’t expect us to officiate!!!! No you bumbling oafs – I expected you to notice that talent at our inter house sports day and put the schedule in the weekly monthly news letter! I expect you to inform those parents whose kids did well that such a meeting exists and why don’t they take their children down there to compete if they so wish!! And yes that you won’t be there to officiate but hey Parents – He can’t be expected to do everything at school and not teach a class!!!

We probably all have been following the Caster Semenya story. Last Monday on the news the ANC publically congratulated her on her run in Berlin! I for one do not want to take that away from her!! But…what they failed to do as far as I’m concerned was to publically congratulate Chad le Clos on bringing 5 Youth Olympic Games medals home to South Africa!!

Sam Gideon SASCOC last week made this statement about the commonwealth games – “If we can lay the foundation with medals from athletics and swimming, the other codes will add to it, but we need to have our swimmers and athletes firing on all eight cylinders. If not, we will have serious problems!!” and with this in mind they fail to honour an up and coming swimming youth!! Take away Chad’s 5 medals and you do the math on the 9 we bought home!!

Sam also said. “We have to think about what we’re doing in South African sport. Other countries are miles ahead of us, I felt so sorry for those athletes. Let this be a warning to the various sporting federations as they will be asked to account for what is going on. If the youth in Singapore were anything to go by, what have we got in store for 2016 and 2020?” The Youth Hockey and Basket ball teams did not win a single match!!!

This is after he made this statement on Sunday March 7, 2010 where he was speaking after a two-day President’s Council meeting at Birchwood, Boksburg that good progress has been made in taking South African sport forward but as always, there’s work to be done. How could he have got it so wrong 5 months ago!!!!

Reading through various articles people are still complaining about colour in Sport and why we have no black swimmers (Just look how many blacks go to the Olympics world wide and maybe they are barking up the wrong tree) and that on a national level the federations must bring in more sportsmen of colour etc etc etc…..(I’m yawning now) SO boring actually because in my view this is what needs to happen!!

SASCOC, lotto funding, all other concerned ANC citizens and the Minister of Education 14 years down the line need to stop moaning about white sportsmen and post to ALL schools in the rural areas a dedicated Sports teacher/ Coach/ Mentor who is accountable for what they do in this position in promoting and finding talent in their school. This way talent is scouted young and they will not have to push athletes of sub standard into teams at high level for quota purposes because we would have enough talent coming through!! They will stop blaming the whites and just get on with it! We on the other hand don’t care what colour they are as long as the flag is flying high and our athletes are doing us proud!!

So well done to the BOKKE for your great win yesterday – You did us proud and if anyone from SASCOC is reading this blog and you can see this white blonde head jumping around at the back of the crowd trying to be noticed. Pick me please for a Sports coach talent scout in a local rural school. I won’t toi toi and strike and you will get the results you are looking for… That I promise!!!

Written by Lisa Bradshaw Email:


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