History Of Sports In South Africa History Essay

Sports in South Africa are largely separated into different parts on ethnic lines. In South Africa sports is treated as the national religion, language group as well as transcending race. In this country it is believed that sport unites the entire country. The Sport and Recreation South Africa takes the responsibility of sport in South Africa which is the national government department. The vision of this department is to create an Active and Winning nation. It focuses to provide many opportunities for South Africans to take part in sport provide fund for various codes related to sport, manage the regulatory framework etc. Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) is being headed by Mr. Fikile Mbalula, who is the minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr. Gert Oosthuizen, who is the Deputy Minister of sport and Recreation, Mr. Alec Moemi who is the Director General and Ms. Sumayya Khan, Chief Operations Officer.

Football in South Africa: Football is the most popular sports which is mostly liked and admired by black South Africans. Bafana Bafana is the nick name which is given to the national football team. 2010 FIFA World Cup is the first cup which is being hosted in South Africa. In order to improve conversational skills among the people, crash course is being held on important teams of the country. South African national Australian Rules football team is national team of football in South Africa. This team competed Australia’s best under 17 players team and made history in 2007 and also defeated Australian amateur senior team. In 2008 annual national championship was held. This team also competed Australian Football International Cup which is considered as world cup for all countries except Australia where sport is being played professionally.

Cricket in South Africa: The next or the second popular sport which is liked by the South Africans is Cricket and this is the customized sport of two communities named Indian South African and Anglo- African communities. This is now being followed by people of all races. The nickname given to the National Cricket Team is The Proteas. Ashwell Prince, Loots Bosman, Hashim Amla, Charl Langeveldt, Herschelle Gibbs, Makhaya Ntini and Monde Zondeki are the non-white cricket players in South Africa. Also Afrikaners include the following players in their team AB de Villiers, Johan Botha, Albie Morkel, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Herschelle Gibbs is the most dominating batsman; Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock are the all-rounders, bowler Makhaya Nitni reached second in ICC Player Rankings in the year 2006. Dale Steyn is ranked as the best bowlers currently. Graeme Smith, who is the captain, is also one of the dominant batsman in the world cricket. Mark Boucher who is the wicket keeper has the world record for a great number of dismissals for wicketkeeper and he continues playing for his team. South Africa had reached the semi-finals of event in 2007 cricket world cup but it lost to Australia.

Rugby Union: The famous sport among Afrikaners includes rugby union. The Springboks is the nickname which is being given to the National rugby union team. Most of the South Africans think that Rugby is origin of bursting pride, it is considered as a serious matter or it is treated as shattering disappointment. The country has played this game traditionally well on the world stage and the South Africans believe that the national team will win every game which they play. South Africa the Rugby World Cup in 1995 by defeating all blacks in the finals which is remembered as the famous sporting moment in South Africa. The Springboks became the part of ‘New South Africa’ after getting training by the associations. Nelson Mandela was chosen as the president, wearing springbok jersey which was won by the whites only once, at the final of Rugby World Cup 1995.

South African Golf: The country has the Best players. The country has best players in the game which includes the major winners named Bobby Locke, Ernie Els Retief Goosen, Gary Player and many others who challenge for great titles all over the world.

Horse racing in South Africa: Horse Racing is also one of the popular sports which are played in South Africa. In this racing take place all around the country. Rich and long history is being enjoyed by the sports player in South Africa.

The South Atlantic Yacht Race: Top international events are organized in South Africa which is the cause of satisfaction for all South Africans. The highest of this position is given to the South Atlantic Yacht Race which is originally called Cape to Rio. Currently it is called as Cape to Bahia. In the Southern hemisphere is race is the largest continent to continent yacht race.

Athletics (running) in South Africa: South Africa possesses active athletic schedule and has large number of athletics who take part in contest internationally and compete for Olympic and the Paralympic games. The major events include Two Oceans Marathon and the Comrades Marathon. The 2011 World Championships in Athletics which was held in Daegu in South Korea, the team of following players Oscar Pistorius, Ofentse Mogawane, Shane Victor and Willem de Beer set the national record time of 2:59.21 seconds and finally South Africa won the silver medal in the finals with the team members Beer, victor, Mogawane and Jacob van. Also a silver medal was won by Caster Semenya in 2012 in women’s 800 m Olympic Games which were held in London with the set record time of 1:57.23 seconds. Oscar Pistorius also became first double amputee sprinter in 2012 to compete the Olympic Games but did not succeeded in winning the medal.

A gold and bronze medal was won by Pistorius in T44 class in Summer Paralympics in the year 2004 which was held in Athens and also won three gold medals at Summer Paralympic Games at 2008 which were held in Beijing. Also two gold medals were won by him at 2012 Paralympic Games. For 200 m and 400 m events he had also remained T43 world record holder. Gold medal was won by South African team of Zivan Smith, Pistorius, Samkelo Radebe and Arnu Fourie and Paralympic record of 4*100 m relay was set by them.

Basketball: In South Africa basketball is famous sport among the youth. ‘Basketball South Africa’, the national Federation is is the youngest members of FIBA which is the global basketball governing body and was founded in 1992.

Cycling: The major events include 94.7 cycle challenge and Cape Argus Cycle Race. South Africa possess powerful cycle race scene. Robert Hunter is the famous cyclist who won the stage in Tour de France in 2007. The national governing body in South Africa of cycling is CyclingSA or Cycling South Africa.

Golf: South Africa is one of the largest golfing nations and has illustrious history. Golf is one of the best individual sports event in which the South Africans take part in. As compared, the South African players remain at the top level with the quantity and quantity. Bobby Locke was the first South African who won a major championship ‘The British Open’ for four times in the year 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1957. Gray Player is the top famous player of golf in SA. He along with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus was dominated for world golf in 1960s and 1970s.

Sailing: In South Africa, for the sport of sailing South African sailing is the national governing body which is being recognized by International Sailing Federation.

Tennis: South Africa was considered as the country which had good tennis players who died away with the new administration of sport. Wayne Ferreira and Amanda Coetzer are the recent tennis players who rank among the world top ten players. Johan Kriek is the only one grand slam tournament winner in South Africa who won Australian Open in the year 1981. He won again the year 1982 but he acquired American citizenship and he played as an American in 1982. In 1984, the Australian Open Final was made by Kevin Curren. Irene Bowder Peacock, Brian Norton, Ian Vermaak, Sandra Reynoldsa, Eric Sturgess and Cliff Drysdale include other grand slam finalists in south Africa.

Canoeing: In South Africa, a huge number of canoe events take place annually which are mentioned as follows:

Berg River Canoe Marathon

Dusi Canoe Marathon

Fish River Canoe Marathon

Chess: Chess is also taking major place in South Africa. Its demand is growing rapidly in this country. Some of the major events include:

South African Open

South African Chess Championship

Mind Sports: Mind Sports South Africa was founded on 14 December 1984 and it has hosted around five world championships in following places which are as follows:

Johannesburg in 1997

Cape Town in 1999

Durban in 2002

Port Elizabeth in 2007

Durban in 2012

The Mind Sports South Africa also looks after the games like Board Gaming, Figure Gaming and e Sports. Board Gaming includes Draughts, Backgammon (International, Anglo- American and Pool Checkers), Morabaraba also called as Mlabalaba, Moruba, SesothoMorabaraba.

Figure Gaming Include Ancients (3000 BC to 1500 AD), Pike and Shot ( 1500 AD to 1700 AD), Horse and Musket(1700 to 1845) and World War 2( 1939 to 1945).

E Sports include personal computer gaming, mobile gaming and PSP gaming.

Motor Sports: Jody Schekter is Formula One World Champion in South Africa who had succeeded or triumphed for Ferrari in 1979. It had also staged Formula One Grand Prix and is also one of the host nations for A1 Grand Prix. In South Africa Motor Rallying and off road 4*4 racing vastly popular.

Rugby League: Rugby League is also the famous sport in South Africa. It has four different committees, administrative boards and interests from around 40 years that made an attempt to set up the game of rugby league in this country. The English and the French expanded the game into different nations that would ensure a lucrative and glowing future. This was the first attempt and it failed as the South African public did not included this game in sport. The second attempt was made in 1960s in double act which consisted of separate factions, one was the National Rugby League and the other was the South African Rugby League. Tom Van Vollenhoven Cup is the rugby league competition which is held in South Africa.

Skydiving and Parachuting: In South Africa, there are about 20 skydiving clubs and drop zones that are registered and all the clubs are connected or joined to the Parachute association of South Africa (PASA).

Boxing: Jeffrey Mathebula won the title named IBF junior featherweight title in March 2012. British version of world bantamweight title was won by Willie Smith. About seventy one world champions are being produced by South Africa. One hundred and fourteen titles have been won by seventy one world champions who include thirty five titles for WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF which are the four major sanctioning bodies. In the year 1998 there were eight world champions in South Africa.

Some of the major sports events include the following:

Midmar Mile

Three world class canoe marathons

Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour

Two oceans Marathon

Comrades marathon

Ned bank Golf Challenge

Adventure and Outdoor Sport: The adventure and outdoor sport include the following:


Abseiling and Rapp jumping

Horse riding and trails

Bungee jumping

Mountain biking

Canoeing, rafting and kayaking

Paragliding, hang gliding and flying


Surfing, wind and kite surfing, sailing


Skydiving and base jumping

Rock climbing

Scuba diving

There are number of disabled athletes in South Africa. Oscar Pistorius is the double amputee world record holder at 200m and 400 m, Natalie du Toit, who is the swimmer who became the first amputee who competed in swimming in 2008 at able bodied Olympics. A three time Xterra Triathlon world champion is Conrad Stoltz in triathlon. Also there is one multiple Ironman Champion named Raynard Tissink. The ITU World Cup winner is Hendrick de Villiers and Dan Hugo is multi-sport and Xterra star.