‘Quest for Glory’ a winner

2010-11-25 00:00

THESE are not the best of times for South African sport with defeats, drugs and draws dominating the headlines rather than glorious victories. But the country has been weaned on international sporting success and normal service can be expected to resume shortly.

A new book, Quest for Glory, Successes in SA Sport, by Durban writer Michael Marnewick celebrates a variety of sporting triumphs while analysing what transforms ordinary teams and individuals into champions.

Marnewick, the highly efficient website editor for the Sharks, has been writing about sport for the past 20 years. In this book, and in a series of wide-ranging interviews with South African heroes, coaches and personalities, Marnewick examines the individual secrets behind their sporting conquests.

There is a strong rugby flavour to the book which is no surprise considering Marnewick’s close involvement with the Sharks and the presence, on his Durban doorstep, of a number of high-profile Springboks.

John Smit, who wrote the foreword, Gary Teichmann, Mark Andrews, Bismarck du Plessis, Johann Muller, Bob Skinstad and Sharks coach John Plumtree, along with Naas Botha and Francois Pienaar, provide most of the rugby insight in this book, Marnewick’s first.

But Marnewick has spread the net to other codes, including such sporting giants as Penny Heyns, Ryk Neethling, Bruce Fordyce, Clive Barker, Shaun Pollock, Baby Jake Matlala, Oscar Pistorius, Gary Player and sports scientist Tim Noakes.

The many contributors’ views on motivation, preparation, adversity, sporting genes, temperament and self-belief are just some of the subjects explored.

Perhaps someone should pop a copy of Quest for Glory, Successes in South African Sport, in Peter de Villiers Christmas stocking. Just a suggestion, mind, but the Springbok coach does need all the help he can get. Published by Random House, Struik, Cape Town, R180.

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