Sporadic achievement will continue

2012-03-10 16:08

There must be something special for South Africans in Florida, USA.

This is where two Mzansi sportspeople put the country on the world map once more last Sunday.

Charl Schwartzel finished fifth in the Honda Classic golf tournament at the National Champion Course to creep back into the Top 10 in the world.

The feat saw him pocket a mouth-watering $216 600 (about R1.62 million) and jump to two places below the career best of seven he reached last May.

As if that was not enough, Kevin Anderson beat Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic 6-4, 7-6 (2) on the same day to lift the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships for his second career ATP title.

While Schwartzel has endeared himself to the best golfers in the world, Anderson has been steadily clawing his way up the rankings.

These two South Africans just prove what we said in this column last year – there must be something our players who participate in individual sports are doing right.

Even in team sport there are exceptions, like the SA women’s hockey team who have just qualified in scintillating style for the London 2012 Olympics.

They followed in the footsteps of Banyana Banyana – the women’s national soccer team – who also qualified in September last year.

What we have failed to do as a nation is build on such successes.

After winning the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup on home soil in 1995, the Springboks had to wait until 2007 to repeat the feat.

It is well documented that Bafana Bafana became the pride of the nation when they won the African Cup of Nations in 1996.

But today they have become the butt of sporting jokes.

We spent two solid days attending the National Sports Indaba from November 21-22 last year.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula told us that this was not yet another “talk shop where people meet, eat, socialise, leave and nothing gets done”.

He promised that the programme would kick off with an intensive schools sports programme in January.

At the schools my kids attend, the status quo continues and no vigorous sports programme is pursued.

Sporadic achievements will continue to be the order of the day until a grand, solid sports plan is implemented which works across all provinces.

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