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Derth of Cape Town talent affecting national teams?
Jul. 5, 2014
The demise of South African Sports generally has been consistent with the absence of local Cape Town talent from the national teams. Without playing the racist card it is evident that the so called “nonwhite “sportsman played a huge part in contributing to the success of SA sports.
Soccer legends from the last 10 years have disappeared and no successors in the making. The likes of Andre Arendse , Fortuin, McCarthy, Williams, Pienaar, Bartlett and other household names that made South Africa the African Soccer Champions and ranked 27 in the world.. The demise of Cape Town clubs, Spurs and recently Ajax and Santos are a classic example.
Rugby has seen a similar demise and the likes of Breyton Paulse and Chester Williams do not have successors. Cricket seems to be the exception.
Baseballs strength in the 80s and 90s was clearly amongst the cape flats and “nonwhite” players that signed MLB minor league contracts were Paul Bell, Carl Micheals, Brett WIllenburg and the Weitz brothers from Mitchell’s Plain. If a National team were to be selected in 2 years’ time these players mentioned together with Faizel Moosa, Daryn Wedel and Gavin Jefferies would struggle to qualify and with the exception of Gift, and we could see an all “white” team.
The recent trend in Minor signings shows that a “nonwhite player” has not been signed since Gift Ngoepe who remains the top ranked SA player.
Western Province Baseball clearly the home of baseball and powerhouse in all divisions have not had a “nonwhite” player sign a minor league deal in 10years, the last being Brett Willenburg. Is the demise of Cape Flats clubs consistent with the trend in other sports? The powerhouse Mitchells Plain Baseball union that boasted a membership of over 500 players and 8 clubs has been reduced to one club with a struggling membership. Mitchells Plain produced some of the best pitchers to represent South Africa like Fanny Van Niekerk, Ashley Dove, Robbie George, Russell Van Niekerk and national players Neil Adonis, Deon Kerchhoff, Marvin and Jason Jonathan.
Only one of the “nonwhite “clubs has regularly featured in the top 4 of the major league division over the last 3 years. Powerhouse club Thistles has fallen by the wayside. Battswood, Silvertree, Crusaders, Lansdowne and Yankees a pale shadow of their former glory years.
There are numerous questions to be asked that transcends all sports.
- “ What has happened”
- Has the pool dried up
- Are the players getting equal opportunities afforded to others?
- Are quality players been overlooked and local scouts only focusing on others and not made aware of opportunities.
- Is there requirement to pay to represent your province and country draining the resources and the financial requirements driving players to play cricket as an alternative where funding is provided.
- Is the imbalance of providing facilities and upkeep still tilted in favor of the northern suburbs clubs similar to apartheid years?
- Has the demise of community sports in favor of existing competitions robbed the game of its
natural pool of talent?
- Are executive members to set on retaining their positions of power at the exclusion of initiative
required to revitalize the game.
- Is there any confidence in the SABU to correct the situation and provide opportunity to rejuvenate the base? Is there a visionary plan for baseball? Does SABU have the technical expertise to develop the game?
- Is there exposure for the game on TV, news media
- Has there been any attempts to secure international events/competitions
- Is there a partnership with Government to assist in the rebirth of the baseball in schools and other institutions?
- Has baseball been scratched off the list of options for school sportsman?
- Does baseball have the community support base it enjoyed before unification?
- Why is the biggest and most successful baseball tournament a tournament held for past players.
- Is there still pride left in competing at national tournaments and why players are withdrawing from teams.
Chatterbox will endeavor to provide answers from people and players whose passion is the success of the beautiful game
The answers are available if
- Costa Rica population of 4.8million can reach the semifinals of the World cup
- Dominican Republic population of 10.4 million mostly poor people provides 10.46% of MLB players.
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