Our fair Country with its many different cultures and legacies has many different sport codes. Sport codes in which we excel in. Today Badger will give you his observation ON a couple of them.
- Our Women Cricket Team did well in the World Cup. We got knocked out after a tight semi final. Our girls played well and made us proud. We should continue to support them. And after four years, who knows.
- Badger hopes the new #GlobalT20League sparks a revival in support for our provincial teams. The past few seasons Badger couldn’t help but notice the dire attendances figures. But he really hope it will pick up.
- First Class (4 Day) cricket should be televised to give recognition to our players.
- Club Cricket should have a National Club Week tournament. Also to be televised.
- Our Amateur CRICKET should be given a boost.
- The media should report on Club, Amateur, Provincal and 3 Day Cricket.
- We need more Franchise teams. I suggest eight.
- Politics have no place in cricket.
- No match fixing.
Gift Ngoepe’s rise to MLB is a story of inspiration and hope and I hope many South African youngster take notice of him and recognize the fact it doesn’t matter where you from, you can reaching the highest level. Baseball is being in a lot of Urban places in RSA like Joeys and Durbs. Badger hopes that baseball will be further develop into school s and into the townships. Badger is sure that a lot of rough diamonds are waiting to discovered. Why can’t South Africa have a Babe Ruth or a Joe DiMaggio?
- Our Sevens are doing well. We won the Series this season. Keep it up and we will win gold next year at the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup in San Francisco and the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020! Keep finding more talent. We need a new Senatla and we need to build on for afterwards.
- Look after your small rugby Unions like the Falcolns, Border bulldogs, the Eagles. Help them financially to keep players. It is getting more and more difficult.They are feeding the bigger unions and to do that you need moola!
- Our Baby Boks did well. They lost the semi at the end. It could have gone either way. Hopefully next year we will be better prepared. (The coaching staff was announced a month before kick off).
- Club rugby should be forgotten. And it must remain at its core values. To socialize is one value.
- By looking at the Kings and how they played and the demographics of the squad this year in the Super Rugby I could see transformation can work by belief and hard work.
- The Boks are playing better. We need to use the Lions game plan and we need to back our players. The coaches we have now are also Lets give Alistair an extended run.
- Our A team should play more matches. This how can continue to develop future Boks.
- A lot of players are moving overseas. It gives the opportunity to the next guy. There are a lot of talented players waiting for a chance.
- Varsity Cup is a major boost for our player development.
- Women Rugby should encouraged more and be broadcasted on TV.
- Our School Rugby is still good. They are strong. Look at the CRAVEN WEEK. The players are a class of their own. South Africa has a lot of talent. Sometimes too much. But Badger feels the small schools are being hurt by the big schools in the way they recruit small schools players.
- Some provincial sides like the Pumas use players from any school that plays rugby. Example, Ermelo, Nelspruit, Witbank, Middelburg, Piet Retief, Barberton etc. A team like the Free State Cheetahs only use players from Louis Botha and Grey College. Where is the players of Jim Fouche, Fichardt Park, Brandfort, St Andrews and Sentraal? Badger understands that they need to pick the best players. Why aren’t the small rugby schools being aided in player development? For all we now our best players are in the non-traditional rugby schools.
- Do most of our rugby fans now of the VKB Week that takes places every July Holiday in Frankfort or Reitz? For U13, U16 and U19s. It is for players from Platteland or Countryside schools that forms into provincial side like North Nal or Free State Country Side. Why aren’t we focused on that as well? Did you know Elandre Hugett from the Cheetahs and Jason Jenkins of the Bulls played at this Rugby Week.
- KZN need a Beeld Trofee type of competition. Greytown, Pioneer, Sarel Cilliers, Ladysmith, Richards Bay to name a few are schools that play rugby but they aren’t being covered in the media.. Why aren’t they exposed to this type of competition?
- We shouldn’t just focus on the Big Easter Rugby Festivals. There are a lot of small ones taking place in the Easter Holiday all over the country. For example Durban North College has one every year and no one takes notice.
- We should focus on our players during the U19, U20 and U21 phase. A lot of players are disappearing because teams are too full.
Mostly everyone in RSA knows how to play soccer. We have the best league, infrastructure, development and financial backing on the continent. Our PSL is top notch and Mamelodi Sundonws are CAF champs! Then why aren’t Bafana a force like our U23s or U17s. Here is why:
- Our National Team are unlike other African countries like Nigeria’s National Players still playing playing in the country The playing for Pirates, Ajax, Chiefs, Sundowns, Wits. A minimum of our players are playing overseas. It should change. The best African sides have their players playing in La Liga, Bundesliga, English Premier League, etc. Those are the best leagues in the world. The players are learning and growing, get top notch training and exposure that they then apply to their National Teams.
- So I think we need to inspire our players to play overseas. We need a competition like Craven Week where all our players can compete and scouts can identify future talent.
- All our National teams don’t have the same basic game plan or structure in the way we play. For some it works and for others it doesn’t. We can be in Top 20 of the World, but we need better planning and coaching.
- Banyana Banyana (the womens soccer team are playing better and better) and I predict in 5 years they will be one of the best sides in the world.
I think we are doing all right there. I can recommend a few suggestions.
- Create more golfing academies
- Get more players on the circuit
- Inspire our youth to play the game
- Encourage our previously disadvantage people to take up golf.
We need to make Swim an “IN” sport again. A sport everyone want to take part in. Badger is worried. After Chad Le Clos there isn’t anyone (Young swimmer) who grabbed our attention and are winning medals. Come on Schools in SA. Make Swimming an “IN” sport. We need the next generation of swimmers. We need future Ryk Neethlings and Cameron van Den Burghs. To the Government! Build more swimming pools. Inspire our nation to swim and challenge the perception that swimming is a “White sport.”
We don’t have enough tennis players on the circuit. More players need to be developed. Therefor we need to create Tennis Academies with World Class Facilities and Coaching like the ones they have in the USA or Europe. We must develop our players at home. it is expensive to train them overseas. We need to go there and watch how their systems and development works, come back and apply it here. We need to develop Tennis on grassroots level.
If Tour De France winner Chris Froome can get his basic in Kenya of all places then we can surely train winner year. A lot of people are cycling in this country. For recreation, excercise or transport. I’m sure with some biokinetics and a dash of sport science we can create a future TDF winner.
After the rise of Wade van Niekerk, Luvo Manyonga and Akani Simbine at last years Olympics Badger is convinced we as a country are delivering more and more athletes. Thanks ASA! But don’t rest on your laurels. Keep it up. Invest in our young athletes. Support them financialy. Attend provincial or school athletics gathering and find our future gold medalists. Enlargen our player base and choose the best. Train our coaches and equip them with skills. We can be the Jamaica of the Future. We have what it takes.
A few years ago we started a league. It is based in Gauteng. About six teams take part. Every season we add should something new and I believe we should copy the NBA model and in 10-15 years we will have a world class competition.
Then there are other sport codes. Rugby league, bowls, polo,netball, hockey, volley ball and many others that Badger feels should be nurtured and development for the sake of our country. Cheers!