Sports is an integral part of any country or region. It fosters camaraderie, team spirit, culture development. Team spirit in sports gives even non-players a feeling of pride and loyalty to the team and members and cheers them on to perform better and do well. It plays an important role in getting things done and achieving a goal. While they’re young, Sports teaches children discipline, develop their strength, stamina even strategy. Friendships can be formed as well as confidence, overall health and physical fitness.
Sports can be entertaining and unifying a nation with its sports teams competing not only by region but with other nations. This way it also promotes a sense of nationalism when their teams are competing internationally. Doing well in sports can bring that country in the international spotlight and promote their tourism, food and culture. South Africa is one example of this, Popular sports in South Africa includes football, cricket and rugby, Rugby is possibly the biggest of the three with over 430,000 registered players.
South Africa’s national rugby team is called Springboks. It is among the strongest and highly ranked in the World Rugby Rankings since 2003. South Africa have hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup and also won the tournament in France in 2007.
The South Africa national football team is nicknamed Bafana Bafana translated as “the boys, the boys”. In 1991, they formed their first non-racial singular football association which is the South African Football Association or SAFA. Their women’s team is in the limelight this year as they debut at the women’s World Cup in France next month.
Proteas is South Africa’s national flower. It is also what they call the South African national cricket team. They have a strong team and have held number one positions in international rankings but have not resulted success yet in organised tournaments.
Most South African sports teams were banned from entering international competitions because of its government’s policy on apartheid and only was reinstated after the deconstruction of apartheid. As one of the goals in sports is camaraderie, inclusion and equality, this is not really surprising.