David Moseley

Forget about the sports minister

2015-06-24 14:19

David Moseley

When it was announced earlier this week that the South African-based Team MTN Qhubeka would be the first African team to participate in the Tour de France (five of the team riders are from the Beautiful Continent – fuck this Dark Continent shit - Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot from Eritrea; Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Louis Meintjes from South Africa) it seemed that team principal Doug Ryder was slightly put out that the South African sports ministry was not on hand to laud the team’s efforts.

Talking to EWN Sport, Ryder said he was disheartened by the lack of recognition for Team MTN Qhubeka from the sports ministry.

Ryder told EWN that getting to the Tour is too big an achievement to have gone unnoticed by the country’s sports officials, stating, “It’s strange actually where we seem to only recognise exceptional performances but we don’t recognise the efforts and time and investments it takes to get there.”

Well, Mr Ryder, I have a message for you. From a sports fan and a cycling fan, well done on getting there. We all look forward to watching the team progress at the Tour. The zebra jersey of your team will definitely give South Africa’ – and Africa – something to shout about.

But really, the last supporter you want at the Tour is the buffoonish sports minister. He hasn’t acknowledged your efforts because there isn’t a photo opportunity in it for him. (Of course, he might also be hiding from the FBI, after he invited them to dig further into South Africa’s connection with the recent FIFA fallout).

You can bet your last tub of bum cream, though, that if one of the South African boys takes a stage at the Tour that Mr Mbalula will be on the first private flight out of Waterkloof. If you’re lucky, he may even bring his great chum Floyd Mayweather to punch some of your riders’ wives.

The sports minister is a circus, rolling from one town to the next looking to impress fools with dancing elephants and singing chimps, and those that fall for him and his razzmatazz are the clowns.

A hard-working athlete should actually balk at the opportunity to be pawed at by Mbalula. Why would someone who has dedicated his or her life to their craft desire to share the applause with a man seemingly only interested in improving his number of twitter followers.

If the Springboks win the Rugby World Cup this year, who do you think will be in the middle of the team photograph? It won’t be the captain and coach, I can tell you that.

No, Mr Ryder, fret not about recognition from the sports ministry, because they are the sideshow.

You and your team are the main event (not to mention the wonderful charity initiative of Qhubeka itself.

And when you start performing at the Tour, which, based on the recent form of Team MTN Qhuebeka should not be much of a surprise, the adulation will come from the people that appreciate the team’s efforts and not some glorified photo bomber who will claim your victories as his own.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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