Proper funding is crucial for sports development.

Sports development plays a major role in the development of any nation. That is why it is critical for governments to channel a significant part of their national budgets towards the growth of sports in their countries.
Taking part in sports is not only important for the physical growth and development of sports men and women but it also plays a significant role in countries gaining international recognition as the best in world competition.
The poor performance of our national sports teams in international competitions including in the AFCON, Women’s Soccer and Cricket World Cups recently left much to be desired and created the impression that South Africans would never dominate international world sports stages.

Most of our national teams including Bafana Bafana, the Proteas, the Springboks and Blitzbokke, Banyana Banyana including our development teams put up a poor show in the recent international assignments and returned home early while their opponents continued to hoist their countries’ flags high abroad. International governments avail millions of rands for the general development of sports in their countries which assist in the growth of their federations and in turn boost the quantity and quality of their players.
Poor funding of sports structures will not help improve the performance of sports personalities and participants hence the importance adequate funding.
The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture last week appeared before the Select Committee on Education, Technology and Arts and Culture to brief the committee on the 2019/2020 annual performance and budgets of the departments of Sport and Recreation and Arts and Culture for the 2019/20 financial year.
The committee commended the department for its 40 percent budget allocation for the development of schools sports and enquired about the department’s mechanisms to ensure that this allocation was correctly spent.
The department’s Director-General Alec Moemi said, sport at schools had been neglected, and as a result, it is no longer compulsory. He told the committee that teachers often demanded overtime for sport activities, especially in rural and township areas adding that the department hoped that the revision of the school curriculum would allow for sports activities to be compulsory in schools.
We remain highly concerned that while the national government works hard to improve the development of school sports in the country, other regions like the North West province are seeming working against these programmes.
It is common knowledge that the development of sports in any individual or future sports stars must start from an early age which calls on those in authority to focus more on growing the interest of youngsters in schools.
School sports in this regard plays a major role in uplifting the standards of future stars who will perform much better as they grow up to represent their teams and countries at any level.
We are therefore pleased that through the new configuration process of government departments under the sixth provincial administration, the responsibility of sports development has been moved from the department of education and will now be handled by the department of culture, arts and traditional affairs (CATA).
We believe that under CATA, school sports will receive better attention and its growth potential will flourish, prosper and produce better results and indeed better spots stars in preparation for the future of sports development in the province and country. The least said about the development of school sports under the education administration the better.
The neglect of school sports under that administration is an understatement!