What do you know about South African Sport? If you don’t know much, you’re about to get schooled with some interesting facts about it.
It’s a fact that staying entertained is very important for anyone in and around South Africa. Of course, modern life helps here as there are more ways than ever to go about this. While traditional ways of staying busy, such as reading a book or drawing, are still well loved, online forms of entertainment are now very popular in South Africa.
Music streaming is a great example of this and enables you to listen to your favourite tracks via a mobile device – wherever you are and without having to carry hundreds of CDs around with you! South Africa is also a big target for streaming services such as Netflix, with their premier shows drawing huge audiences.
Playing casino games online is also a popular way to have fun within the country and can even allow you to win some money. Just remember to carefully choose where you will play these games online to stay safe. A good tip is checking out this online casino site for recommendations on the safest and most exciting places to game online for South Africans.
One of the big pastimes however, is sport. Whether it is playing them or watching them, South Africa is a huge sporting nation.
Here are 10 Interesting Facts You Might Not Have Known About South African Sport
1. A wide range of sports are played in South Africa
One interesting fact about South African sports to kick us off is the sheer range of sports that can be found across the country. From football to rugby, cricket, basketball, athletics, tennis, golf and boxing, all the top sports are huge here. This can be seen currently in the buzz that the latest news about the British Lions tour to South Africa generates!
2. The Saddle Seat tournament is held every four years
It is not just mainstream sports that the country loves. Every four years, South Africa hosts the Saddle Seat World Cup. This is the premier competition for Saddle Seat equitation riders globally and a marvellous spectacle.
3. When it comes to South African Cricket, fast bowlers are a speciality!
The national cricket side is known for producing brutal fast bowlers over the years! Allan Donald was known as ‘White Lightning’ for example, while Makhaya Ntini finished with 390 wickets from only 101 Test matches. Cricket is popular in South Africa – the nation hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003.
4. Swimming in South Africa has royal connections
You might not know this but Charlene, Princess of Monaco used to be an Olympic swimmer. Although born in Zimbabwe, she actually competed for South Africa in the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a member of the 4 x 100m relay team.
5. The Death of Hansie Cronje remains a mystery
There have been many bright moments in South African sports but a dark period came when cricketer Hansie Cronje was found guilty of match-fixing in 2000. Cronje died in 2002 in a plane crash which many allege the criminal gang behind the match-fixing scandal arranged.
6. South Africa has a fine record in disabled sports and Paralympics
As an inclusive society, South Africa has racked up a great record in tournaments like the Paralympics. For example, swimmer Natalie du Toit is a famous disabled athlete from the country.
7. Albert Johanneson was a trailblazer
South African-born football player Albert Johanneson was the first black player from the country to play in the top level of English football and an FA Cup Final. Playing for Leeds United in the 1960s, he was a real pioneer.
8. Gary Player lit up South African golf
Golf in South Africa has turned out some great players over the years. Gary Player was arguably the best, although Ernie Els is close, and won a career Grand Slam when aged 29.
9. The 1995 IRB Rugby World Cup held in South Africa
Known as ‘The Springboks’, the national rugby team is a source of great pride for all South Africans. In 1995, South Africa became the first African country to host a rugby World Cup tournament. The final game finished with South Africa beating New Zealand 15-12. South Africa also went on to win the IRB Rugby World Cup in 2007 and 2019.
10. South Africa was the first African nation to host a FIFA World Cup
South Africa was host country for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – but did you know it was the first African country to do so? The country really lived up to this honour and put on one of the best World Cup’s ever, with plenty of colour and even vuvuzelas.
South Africa has a fine sporting heritage
As the above shows, the country really does have a great sporting history when you look back at some interesting facts about it. From hosting World Cups to helping disabled athletes thrive and welcoming more obscure sports like saddle seat riding, South Africa is certainly a place where sport is thriving.
Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.