I attended the 12th African Championships to gain better perspective on the potential of FIG gymnastics disciplines in Africa.
I’ve led coaching clinics in Senegal, Nigeria, Mozambique and South Africa and need a better answer to this question:
Bread, not circuses?
Should international sport truly be a priority for African nations?
Shouldn’t resources be spent on health and education?
South Africa and Egypt have proved they can compete with the rest of the world. The Algerian men are world class, too. What about the other African nations?
I’m not willing to deny any African the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
If sport is your passion, I’m willing to volunteer to help.
My hope is that sport and arts can bring the nations, religions and tribes of Africa together. Indeed, I cannot report a single incident of racism at this competition. Athletes were judged only on their gymnastics, so far as I can see.
Gymnastics in Africa!
In 1986 a football team that lived on a small island in Thailand called “Koh Panyee“. It’s a floating village in the sea that has not an inch of soil. The kids here loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn’t let that stop them. …
Click PLAY or watch a reenactment on YouTube.
That was put together by Thai Military Bank. 🙂
Inspired by the 1986 FIFA World Cup, children built the pitch from old scraps of wood and fishing rafts. After making it to the Semi-final on an inland tournament, all the village were inspired to take up the sport. They Built a brand new pitch, although the wooden one still remains and is popular among tourists. As of 2011, Panyee FC is one of the most successful youth soccer clubs in Southern Thailand, and the boys who built the pitch back in 1986 are now grown men.
(via Jamie Ellacott)
• Angolan Youth and Sports minister, Gonçalves Muandumba, met the Rhythmic Team on return from the airport. Wants to prioritize basic training in gymnastics.
• South African gymnasts “Hold Their Breath” awaiting decisions of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee. Are their scores good enough for approval to Commonwealth Games and/or Youth Olympic Games.