The Importance Of Sport Events In South Africa

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Yes. I believe that sporting events do contribute to unifying a nation because many people in South Africa, and elsewhere, share a common love for sport. Fans enjoy watching sport on television, listening on radio, and attending sporting events. Sport is a means by which people find a common purpose to come together, whether it be through inviting friends over to watch a game, or joining a local soccer or rugby club and being a part of a team. At sport events, nobody focuses on the colour or nationality of the person standing next to them. Instead, they focus on the idea that a common interest is shared, this being the love of sport and support for a team or an individual. As a result of this sense of ‘common ground’, everyone is united behind the team that they are supporting. As mentioned in an article from the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, “Elite sport is often regarded as one of the main vehicles for articulating national pride and stimulating national cohesion”.

2.1 The first image is from the Rugby World Cup in 1995. It shows newly elected President Nelson Mandela handing over the winning cup to a victorious captain of the South African Rugby Team, Francois Pienaar.

The second image captures the Bafana Bafana team in the Soccer World Cup in 2010 through a comic strip that includes characters of all races, further emphasizing the idea of unity that is brought about through the love of South African sport and the pride in hosting the competition.

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