Time society learns to accept defeat

2011-07-16 14:53

Comments by some experts after our team was walloped by New Zealand at the World Netball Championships were quite ­amusing.

While one is always wary of lumping everybody in one pile, these comments confirmed us to be a nation of reactionaries.

This is a serious disease that ­afflicts almost all spheres of our ­society and is even a scourge in ­politics where opposition parties ­usually react to what the ANC is doing rather than ­being proactive with their own programmes.

What was engrossing about the words of wisdom from our netball experts such as former Proteas (netball) coach Carin Strauss and former skipper Martha Mosoahle was that it was a matter of closing the ­stable door long after the horse had bolted, if not crying over spilt milk.

The World Netball ­Championships have been played every four years since 1963 and that is long enough to build a solid team.

South Africa has been a ­member of the global sporting family since 1992.

There is no need for us to ­always come up with bright ideas every time our team gets ­bundled out of an ­international event.

South Africa needs to ­formulate a ­solid plan for all our teams to be ­prepared in such a way that they are at their best every time a world ­championship or world cup comes around.

Then when we lose, it will be because the opposition is just too good for us. We must learn to have a sporting spirit and ­accept defeat graciously.

It doesn’t make sense that ­Bafana Bafana always scramble to find “suitable” opposition to play in the eleventh hour every time a crucial qualifying match looms.

Fifa and Caf release ­international fixtures way in ­advance and the soccer bigwigs and the coach should promptly start to secure “suitable” opposition to play ­during free weeks.

The same should happen with all ­national teams. They should be engaged in high-intensity ­friendly matches which players should treat like finals.

Watching the Fifa Women’s World Cup in Germany, I felt it was a blessing in disguise that ­Banyana Banyana didn’t qualify.

The standard is just too high. We need to work very hard to reach that level . . . and we are still losing to Zimbabwe.

As a country, we need to do our best to ensure that our ­players join top leagues or even go on exchange programmes in countries that are excelling in their respective sports.

Our officials and administrators should also be dispatched to frequent training and ­upgrading courses overseas.

This would prevent situations where Safa and the PSL ­struggle to find suitable chief executives, as was the case ­recently.

Sports minister Fikile Mbalula should tackle these issues inter alia at the mooted ­“Sports ­Indaba”.

Unless South Africa comes up with a solid “Sports Programme of Action”, we will forever be cry ­babies every time our teams bomb out of key sporting events.

– smseleku@citypress.co.za 

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