The past weekend saw Western Province captain Luke Watson bid farewell to his beloved Newlands. Watson has played a big part in the revival of the Cape Town-based team, who stumbled at the second last hurdle of the Currie Cup, losing by a mere two points to the Blue Bulls in Saturday’s semi-final. The Bulls will now face the Free State Cheetahs in what is poised to be an exciting finale at Loftus Versveld on the 31st of October.
But Watson will in all likelihood watch the match from the UK, where he will be getting used to life as a Bath player. Luke has opted to leave behind the fairest Cape and with that, the political upheaval that is a daily part of South African life.
The 2006 South African “Super Rugby” player of the year has spent the better part of the past year, a vilified figure in most parts of the country following his now infamous comments at the Ubumbo rugby festival almost a year ago.
His speech contained comments about his family’s political record, his description of wearing the Bok jersey as “a burden”, adding that he struggled to keep himself from vomiting on it. And of course, saying that the rugby administration are “rotten to the core” and run by “Dutchmen”.
Since that day, a day that has gone down as yet another in the ever-growing list of events that continue to plaque the ubiquitous political reality of South Africa’s transition, Luke himself has been on the receiving end of pretty rough name-calling.
From “Puke” Watson, to names that unfortunately just do not suit this forum, Luke has been the target of some, shall we say “colourful” posters, banners, Facebook groups, blogs, articles, tweets and conversations.
But whether you’re Luke Watson or an offended Afrikaans speaker, who just wants to enjoy the game that we all love, the events of the past 12 months have forced us to re-evaluate the old adage about sticks and stones.
So before opening our mouths, in opposition or support of whatever politically-fuelled thought about sport, or merely prefacing a sentence with “typical”, that the answer to the question “What’s in a name” is…”well, everything.”
Top 3 weekend Sporting Events around Jozi
1) Hospice Witwatersrand is hosting the Celebration of Life Hospice Walk at Zoo Lake on Sunday morning. 25th Oct. Open to all. Registration will take place on Saturday, 24th October at Zoo Lake at 8am.
4 km – R40
8 km – R50
12km – R60
For more info please contact Alicia Lerm. +27 11 483 9170(work)
2) The Artemis Friendly Supermarket Cycle Challenge takes place on Sunday at Stone haven on Vaal, Vanderbijlpark. It’s a little outside Joburg, but worth a look at by cycling enthusiasts. Registration closes on Friday 23rd October, 12h00 Noon.
Distances: 80km (R110), 40km (R90), 10km (R30)
Starting Time: 08h00?
Number Collection:At the venue, Stonehaven on Vaal, Vanderbijlpark;?Sunday 25th October 2009, from 06h30
More details available on www.cyclab.com. Click on “online entries”
3) The Randburg Action Sports Arena will be hosting the Netball Super League Final on Saturday from 8am till around 6pm. Various age-groups from around the province will be participating.
If you are interested in participating in 8-a-side action cricket, netball or 6-a-side indoor soccer, check out www.randburgactioncricket.co.za or call +27 11 792 6313 .