CSA Getting Transformation Right
There can be no denying that transforming the face of South African sport is a necessary part of creating a more inclusive society. One of the biggest evils of Apartheid was the exclusion, on the basis of race and not merit, of talented individuals who could have easily represented the country but were prevented from doing so. That race prevented Cape Town born Basil de Olivera from playing for the land of his birth, yet he played for England will remain one of the most painful chapters in South Africa sporting history. And while many post-Apartheid sporting federations pay lip service to the transformation imperative, there seems to be somewhere inside Cricket South Africa a very real understanding of the mistakes of the past and a need to change. Because more than a quarter of a century since emerging from sporting isolation when South Africa toured India in 1991 to signal the end of the international sports boycott on the Apartheid state, little has changed in the way in which players progress from the junior ranks to the Proteas.
Alex Hub U15’s vs St. Stithians U15 at Alexandra Oval
The statistics are staggering! Private (Model C) schools produce over 80% of the nation’s cricket players and for every 20 white players there is an average of 3 Black African players while roughly a third of players that have ever played for the men’s senior national team are from less than schools – The King Edwards of this world. Realising this, Cricket South Africa are doing something about it and have introduced the concept of a township hub. The argument is why can’t national quality junior cricketers be produced in the townships? Why must a child from Soweto get a scholarship to go to Jeppe High School in order to have any hope of playing for the Proteas? Township hubs have been created to deal with exactly that challenge. Hubs are cricket clubs with quality facilities and coaches that service the surrounding primary and high schools. The Gauteng province alone has 14 Hubs namely: Actonville , Duduza (HUB), KwaThema (HUB), Soweto (RPC), Lenasia (HUB), Dobsonville (HUB), Kagiso (HUB)Alexander (HUB), Cecil Payne (HUB), Mamelodi (RPC), Soshanguve (HUB), Hammanskraal (HUB), Aceridgeville (HUB), Laudium (HUB). And some of these hubs are already beginning to achieve success. The Hammanskraal hub produce 24 provincial players, and girls under 13 and under 19 winning the school champion league. But more than creating future professional crickets, some of whom may go on to represent South Africa, it is about transforming South African society by getting kids from different walks of life to play together. Mosibodi Whitehead spoke to Gauteng Cricket Board CEO Greg Fredericks at the Alexandra Oval where the Alex Hub U15 team was playing against St. Stithians U15. Fredericks says they need government support because there’s much more work to be done.
It may be just the beginning because CSA’s Hub Programme is only in its third year, but there are already some rewards. There were youngsters from St. Stithians for whom the Hub match was a the first time they had visited Alexandra, while for the Alex Hub youngsters they got to measure themselves against a school that has produced Kagiso Rabada. That’s what transformation is truly about; allowing sport to be the ultimate equalizer. Transformation is not vengeance but nation building. Cricket South Africa are getting things right.
— Mark Keohane (@mark_keohane) March 16, 2017
Cricket again serves as a reminder that transformation, when applied properly, can and will be a success…
— Khanyiso Tshwaku (@kaymorizm) March 18, 2017
Our team has a bright future and we also killing it with transformation, especially looking at List A cricket. It can be done ! #NZvSA
— Londi (@djlondee) February 25, 2017