Aug 31, 2012
Recipe for sporting successBack
Gold|London|Africa|Fire|Training|Africa|South Africa|Uganda|Equipment|Fancy Equipment|Anaso Jobodwana|Lehann Fourie|Stephen Kiprotich|Sunette Viljoen|2012 Olympic Games|Olympics|The Olympics|Canoeing|Javelin
Each Olympics event seems to be bigger and more complex than the previous one, with all sorts of sports unfolding in parallel. What this means is that there is a huge variety of sports for athletes to choose from. So, in principle, any young athlete from around the world can find some sport to suit his or her talents.
One thing that also showed again at these Olympics is that international sporting events bring the population of the whole country together. When one athlete succeeds, the whole country celebrates. This should emphasise to the sporting authorities just how impor- tant sport is to the whole country. Just one person winning an event causes mass reaction.
In the excitement of the games, there have been various calls to spend much more money on training facilities for athletes. I have mixed feelings about this.
If there is one thing that came out time and again is that virtually every medal winner from any country emphasised the total dedication needed to succeed. All the expensive training equipment and facilities in the world are not going to help someone who does not have total dedication. Athletes spoke of getting up at 5:00 every day to train for a couple of hours, and also training during the night and over weekends. No fancy equipment is going to induce someone to get up at 5:00 on a cold morning if he or she does not have the fundamental fire of desire.
If we want to win more medals in future, what we have to do, initially, is to hunt for talent all over the country. We have to hunt for the spirit of dedication. Once the fire to achieve has been found, we must then invest in nurturing the person. So, what we have to do is to bring sport to many learners all over the country. They do not need fancy equipment – just an opening break. They need to be shown videos of people achieving. They need to meet Olympic athletes, if possible, to discover that, when you meet them face to face, they do not look superhuman, but radiate excitement.
Uganda won its second medal in its history when Stephen Kiprotich beat a strong Kenyan team to win the men’s Olympic Marathon. I doubt if Kiprotich, or the Kenyans, achieved that because of loads of expensive equipment back home. Perhaps, as a strategy, we need to get Kiprotich here to run in the Comrades Marathon so that young folks can see the gold medallist and be inspired.
I doubt if the Jamaicans have loads of expensive facilities back home but look how well they did in the sprints. There must now be a whole bunch of young Jamaicans running races in the streets, dreaming of being the next Olympic ‘Bolt of Lightning’.
Certainly, once budding stars have been discovered, give them special treatment. The first essential is a coach to take them in hand and to train not only the physical attributes but also the game plan and strategy. These days, nobody wins on physical prowess alone. In the woman’s 800 m race, Caster Semenya came second, but as I watched I was horrified to see her running in last place at the beginning. She then accelerated but it was very late. It looked as if, had there been another 100 m in the race, she would have won. That seemed to me to be poor execution of running tactics and game plan. I have no idea what coaching advice she had been given but, to me, something was lacking.
Bridgitte Hartley picked up a bronze medal in canoeing. She now needs to be used as a role model to find and inspire others, but also needs any professional support she can be given to, perhaps, move up the ranks for the next Games, in Rio, in 2016. The same goes for javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen, who finished fourth. Special training plans need to be developed for 200 m sprinter Anaso Jobodwana and 110 m hurdler Lehann Fourie, who both showed that they have the makings of medals in 2016.
Provide these people with all the facilities and support, and also let them interact with other young hopefuls to inspire them.
We also need much more domestic competition. We need to see more athletics on TV. We need to see more of these sports generally and induce more spec- tators to not only attend but also cheer and shout. Such action would be for the entertainment of spectators and also to ‘spread the word’ to find those hidden gems who will become the dedicated stars of the future. I am sure that they are out there – we have to find them.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Dr Kelvin Kemm News
Updated 5 hours ago A survey conducted by EY show that Acciona Energy's activities in South Africa have contributed $295-million to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and created over 9 500 jobs. The goal of the survey, entitled ‘Acciona Energy in South Africa: A business...
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
This Week's Magazine
Following the drop in commodity prices and China’s demand for Africa’s resources, African economies were slumping and gross domestic product growth was stagnating in most of the continent’s emerging markets, said the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, or...
The New Development Bank, a multilateral lender formerly known as the Brics Development Bank, will provide $811-million in a first round of loans for clean energy projects in four nations.
South African car and bakkie exports into Africa declined for the third year in a row in 2015, falling from 79 228 units in 2012, to 77 589 units in 2013, 60 189 units in 2014, and 41 446 units last year – this according to the Automotive Industry Export Council’s...
Networking systems multinational Cisco is training 75 people as part of a pilot project to develop specialist networking skills in South Africa, says Cisco South Africa CTO Vernon Thaver. The trainees were nominated by and selected from Cisco’s local partners and...
The threat landscape is changing, along with technologies, impacting on new fields, such as industrial infrastructure, which is becoming increasingly connected. Smart cities are also developing fast through connected devices, Web services and cloud solutions, but...