Different agenda for Saru, CSA?

2007-08-27 09:36

Gary Boshoff

At last an elected president of one of South Africa's top sports federations that states very clearly and unambiguously that he supports quotas and/or targets as a genuine remedy for the transformational impasse we seem to experience.

Other than Oregan Hoskins, the president of the South African Rugby Union, advocate Norman Arendse, the newly elected president of Cricket South Africa, believes that quotas should indeed be a constitutional imperative.

Strong words indeed - words that have led him to be accused of being a politician and intent on interfering with team selections.

Nevertheless, here we have two legal eagles heading two sports federations that face huge challenges on the transformational front, but who hold opposing views on how to arguably achieve the same objective: a representative sports structure based on merit, equity and opportunity creation for all.

The past 10 years or so we have heard many administrators, coaches and officials openly declare their support for the transformation of South African sport, but who more often than not, stopped short of practically supporting their statements through action.

Alternative

Throughout, many of them have opposed quotas as a remedy, either arguing that it will weaken teams or that it is insulting to deserving black players when they are selected because of their colour.

However the alternative to quotas, the "buy-in" from club and provincial administrators and coaches to develop and create opportunities for talented young black rugby players, has once again fallen significantly short, a full 16 years after rugby unity was achieved in Kimberley in 1991.

We still experience black wings being replaced by black wings on a regular basis at club, provincial and national level.

It is therefore refreshing to hear advocate Arendse publicly proclaiming the need for quotas to be institutionalised in order to speed up the transformational imperative in all our sports.

Netball has put very clear and simple rules in place to facilitate this.

Doors of opportunity

It is high time that the elected leaders of rugby stop tip-toeing around the conservative members of their organisation and do the right thing.

There are thousands of hungry, talented black rugby players in this country waiting for that moment when the doors of opportunity will be opened for them.

The president of Saru must stand up and be counted and set the course for Saru by spelling out clear and easy to understand transformational guidelines for rugby.

There is nothing that rugby administrators understand better than clear, decisive, and easy to implement policies.

How is it that two leaders can differ so fundamentally about such an important matter for their respective sports?

Can it be that the one is actually prepared to lead while the other is being led?

  • Gary Boshoff is a former Saru player and well-known rugby administrator.
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