- Ant Sims
Eritrean cycling finally went global over the course of the 2015 Tour de France, when MTN-Qhubeka’s star climber Daniel Teklehaimanot introduced his obscure, east African country to the world. But Zemede Tekle, Eritrea’s sports commissioner recently told the Daily Maverick: ‘Cycling is life here. It is who we are.’ In 1936, 25 after Italian colonialists imported the sport (and refused to allow the locals to participate), Eritreans held their first race. They’ve been racing ever since. In Eritrea, as an Italian journalist once noted, cycling is bread. Words and photos by RICHARD POPLAK.
England Sevens rugby player Sam Stanley came out over the weekend, admitting that he had considered taking his own life because he thought being gay would stunt his career prospects. While we’ve come a long way, Stanley’s coming out still matters in an era where “macho” sport sometimes still frown on homosexuality. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
On Sunday, little-known political party the Agency for New Agenda said they will be taking Saru and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to court over the ‘lack of transformation’ in rugby. Their mission is to get the Springboks barred from going to the Rugby World Cup, but their legal case is flimsy and will in all likelihood be thrown out. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Sport has the amazing ability to completely transform somebody’s life. Emmanuel Sebareme’s parents fled Rwanda largely on foot during the war and ended up in South Africa. By chance, Sebareme ended up playing cricket and will feature in the upcoming Africa Twenty20 Cup in September. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Cricket fans are becoming more and more aware of how unequal the playing field is for those teams outside the ‘Big Three’. A silent protest outside The Oval during the Ashes one again highlighted that fans of the sport are increasingly demanding accountability from those who govern it. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Hashim Amla is now jointly has the most one-day international centuries. Not bad for a bloke who was considered a “Test specialist” once upon a time. Despite batting in an era in which brute force is often favoured, Amla’s mild approach has brought him great success and it’s a breath of fresh air. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
South Africa lost the second Twenty20 against New Zealand by 32 runs in Centurion on Sunday. While neither side have their best players on show, South Africa’s loss raised so many of the questions which plague them during knockout matches in a match which doesn’t even really matter. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Cosatu claimed on Monday that a number of black Springboks had approached them to voice concerns over their lack of game time. The South African Rugby Players’ Association says that when they asked, they found no signs of unhappy players. Regardless of how seriously you take the claims, a serious conversation needs to be had about transformation and it needs to happen without white-tinted glasses. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
It’s not like anybody expected the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to throw their hands up in the air and say: yep, we look on as athletes dope themselves into oblivion, but their angry responses so far have done little to answer questions about why so many athletes are still allowed to compete despite dodgy blood work. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
MTN on Wednesday dumped their Tour de France conquering team. It doesn’t matter. When you’ve battled the hardest mountains in the Alps—blah blah blah, etc etc. But seriously, what’s next for this team? How will they cope? Can they keep making Africans across the continent happy? Or will a certain cell phone company ruin the show? We spoke to Team [Insert Sponsor]-Qhubeka's Number One, Douglas Ryder. By RICHARD POPLAK.
Clive Rice, SA’s first one-day international captain in the post isolation era, passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. His on-field prowess cannot be doubted, but many will be left wondering why he never spoke out about the ills of apartheid, which denied him and countless others the chance at international sporting glory. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.