In light of the Ashwin Willemse incident, which saw the former rugby player storm off the SuperSport set during a live broadcast, we published a story outlining why it's so important to encourage racial inclusivity in sports at primary school level already.
Read the full story here: Why racial inclusivity in sports should start at primary school level
One of our readers responded saying that yes, inclusivity is a must, but perhaps it's not as simple as we think. We might be doing more harm than good.
With the recent news of Ashwin "Speedy" Willemse and all the articles that have been published around it, I'd like to touch on something: sports and reconciliation (our Minister of Sport also mentioned this in a recent interview).
When a young cricket player scores 200 runs in a season and gets left out of a provincial side for a player that only scored 50 runs, the question gets asked, "But why do they pick him above me, Dad?"
So one explains the inequalities of the past.
"But, Dad, he goes to a private school, his bat cost more than my kit and he has two."
Do we honestly think this is reconciliation? What are we creating here?
It does not matter where you go in the world. The rich will have the best coaches and facilities available to them. These schools and universities also have their pick of the best talent out there and subsequently will in all likelihood produce most of your future stars. This is how the world works, it is by no means bound to South Africa.
We are not creating an environment of reconciliation by enforcing transformation (quotas) in our junior ranks. We are creating resentment and anger.
First thing that needs to be done is to chuck away the transformation targets within the junior ranks and let the boys and girls compete on equal grounds. Keep the transformation in play at senior level but the most crucial thing that needs to be implemented is a system like CSA RPC hubs. Out of these hubs players that are truly currently disadvantaged should be selected in teams to go and compete at the national tournaments if they do not make their province, national or regional teams. This will ensure that we have 2 streams of players coming into the senior system.
As it currently stands we are not reconciling our youth with sport, we are dividing them.
Speaking to a bunch of promising youngsters of different ages, all attending high school and all talented cricket players, none of them has the ambition to represent SA one day. England, New Zealand, Ireland and even the Netherlands came up as options to continue their cricket careers after school.
What are we creating?
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
How do you think schools can ensure that their sports teams are as inclusive as possible and give everyone a fair chance? Tell us by emailing email@example.com and we may publish your comments. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.
- After school clubs aren't always safe spaces: what should be done about it
- School rugby and concussions: why parents can't bury their heads in the sand
- How to help your little one to not be racist