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Former Bafana stars establish clinic to unearth talent

Shaun Bartlett

Shaun Bartlett and five former Bafana Bafana stars, including Roger de Sa, Eric Tinkler, Fani Madida, Linda Buthelezi and Tebogo Moloi, will be running three football clinics in Gauteng in a bid to unearth new soccer talent for the national team.

Bartlett, who was part of the 1996 Bafana Bafana team that was ranked number one in Africa said, “We (South African football) have gone backwards since 1996.” He explained that the former soccer stars are worried that the South African team will become a third rate side.

The clinic will take the form of three boot camps taking place over the next six months and will be open for youth from local Gauteng clubs aged between 16 and 19 years. The program will start with 350 players this weekend at Wits University Youth Academy in Millpark followed by two more camps- one in April and one in June. 20 boys will be selected at the end of the program to train in Brazil where they will have the opportunity to play matches at one of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums.

Bartlett stated, “It is vital we start at the bottom and lay a solid foundation. Our goal is to produce players who will represent Bafana at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”

The project will be endorsed by sports giant, Nike who will be sponsoring R 14 million for the initiative paying for players expenses, including accommodation, boots and kit.

FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off in SA

Confederations Cup Logo

June 15, 2009, Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg- SA welcomed the soccer world yesterday at the Ellis Park Stadium for the Opening of the dress rehearsal for next years World Cup- the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Although South African fans can be disappointed in the performance by national team, Bafana Bafana drawing to Iraq in a goalless match, the 30 minute opening ceremony was definitely worth being proud of.

700 school pupils were featured as a human SA flag while they formed a giant formation before painting the FIFA Confederations Cup logo on a giant banner whilst being circled by the flags of the eight nations participating in the tournament.

Jazz icon, Hugh Masekela and Lebo M and Yvonne Chaka Chaka announced the teams before FIFA President, Sepp Blatter and SA President, Jacob Zuma declared the tournament under way.

Zuma keeping positive in tough times

Jacob Zuma in parliament
SA President, Jacob Zuma addressed the country from a cold Cape Town for the state of the nation address yesterday June 3, 2009.

The President spoke at length about poverty, unemployment, crime, education and health care- all factors that are deemed as priorities to the SA public.

He explained that the government has identified 10 areas that will be aligned in their strategic framework during his reign.

With regards to industry the president explained that a scaled up investment plan aligned with a government plan to help certain sectors such as the, auto, textile and tourism industry will help fight the global crisis.

Zuma said the government wants to create four million jobs over the next five years with a goal of half of those being before the end of 2009.

With tertiary education being a major worry for poorer citizens it was predicted that the president would touch on the issue at length. “We will improve the access to higher education of children from poor families and ensure a sustainable funding structure for universities,” said Zuma.

In terms of crime, the president wishes to reduce both serious and violent crime by seven percent and 10 percent annually. “We changed the name of the relevant Ministry from Safety and Security to Police to emphasise that we want real operational energy in police work” explained Zuma.

In terms of health the President stated that “Our goal is to step up the fight against the scourge of HIV and AIDS, TB and other diseases.”

He requested for SA citizens to work together to reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% by the year 2011. “We want to reach 80% of those in need of ARV treatment also by 2011.”

Overall the Presidents speech was that of a positive nature. Now all that awaits South African citizens is deliverance.

For the full State of the Nation Address see State of the Nation

Springboks Win World Sevens Title

SA Sevens

The Springbok Sevens Squad clenched the first ever overall Sevens title this weekend after beating France 33- 10 and the USA 34- 5 at the final stop of the IRB Sevens World Series in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Although the Springboks won the title all celebrations had to be put on hold until after the Edinburgh tournament where they progressed to the quarter, semi- finals and eventually the finals.

The Boks beat Australia 17- 7 in the quarter finals before progressing to the semi’s and facing host nation Scotland.

The Scots proved to be strong competitors and with the home crowd cheering them on they played some flamboyant rugby taking the Boks into extra time but Bok back line player, Gio Aplon proved to be too skillful breaking through to score a sudden death try that sent the Boks into the final.

The Final was a bitter sweet moment for the Boks with the physical Fiji team somewhat lucky by being awarded a try which was later proved by the television replay to be a mistake made by the match officials, which clenched the tournament for them.

Nevertheless, due to the Sevens being played on a point basis over the season the Boks won the title with 132 points followed by Fiji who finished second place with 102 points.

Bok Sevens coach, Paul Treu stated that, “It’s a bit disappointing to end the season like this, but I told the guys that we have been the most consistent team of the year.”

He explained that the Boks have waited 10 years to win the IRB Sevens Series and now they are the best team in the world, going home as World Champions.

Bulls: Super 14 Champs

Bulls

With the tunes of Liefling, Marching to Pretoria and Ek Bly n’ Bul being sung by 52 000 supporters all in unison, with the majority sporting blue, who could have blamed the Waikato Chiefs for feeling a tad intimidated at last nights Super 14 final at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

The Bulls stole the show by thrashing the Chiefs 61- 17 to record the biggest winning margin in a Super 14 final yet, much to the delight of the Pretoria crowd and so it seemed, former Springbok captain turned SuperSport presenter, Bob Skinstad (who it must be noted has some impressive metaphors for an ex- rugby player).

Bulls try scorers were Fourie du Preez (2) Bryan Habana (2), who overtook Breyton Paulse’s record for the most tries scored in Super Rugby, Victor Matfield, Wynand Olivier, Pierre Spies and Danie Rossouw.

Last weeks hero, Morne Steyn converted five tries, kicked two penalties and drop goaled one. Buton Francis who received his first Super rugby points also made a conversion.

Leila Masaga and captain Mils Muliana each scored for the New Zealand franchise with flyhalf Stephen Donald kicking two conversions to compliment his teammates tries.

55 Pilot Whales Beached in Kommetjie

whales-beached-in-ctWhales Stranded

A remarkable but sad sight of a pod of 55-beached pilot whales could be seen on the Southern Cape Peninsula town of Kommetijie in South Africa yesterday morning.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and public volunteers started rescue efforts at 7:30am much without prevail as only 20 of the 55 mammals could be rescued with the rest either dying of natural causes or were euthanized.

Marine and Coastal Management scientist Mike Meyer stated that, “This is not a nice decision but we are just prolonging their agony. The animals that have been saved are beaching themselves further along the coast.”

Two volunteers were injured in the rescue attempt and a third was rescued after being swept out to sea.

No one knows why the whales beach themselves.

i-Burst launches campaign to teach South Africans the National Anthem

MyAnthem logo

iBurst, SA’s broadband internet provider, has launched its MyAnthem campaign in a bid to ensure that every South African knows the words of the national anthem.

The idea is the brain child of a local chiropractor, Grant Ions, who was concerned that many South African don’t know the anthem.

South Africans who don’t know the words to Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika can visit iBurst’s MyAnthem website where they’ll be able to learn the words by downloading a karaoke style device which uses pictures to represent the words and sounds of the anthem.