Attending select number of boys' schools still key to cricketing success in SA
"To maintain a strong national cricket side, the building blocks have to be laid at school level to meet the required standards when schoolboy cricket players develop and transcend to provincial and national levels."
That's how health and sports scientist Dr Habib Noorbhai opens his article _Elite boys’ schools still shape South Africa’s national cricket team _published on theconversation.com.
It details the findings of his research into how many of South Africa’s national men’s cricketers attended boys-only schools.
The sports science senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) chats to Africa Melane on Weekend Breakfast.
He found that select boys-only schools are a key contributing factor for playing men’s cricket at the highest level in South Africa.
We see that about 35-40 schools, mainly boys-only schools, are being the feeder systems for Protea cricketers between 1992 and 2019. That's out of approximately more than 6,000 schools in South Africa.Dr Habib Noorbhai, Senior lecturer in sports science - University of Johannesburg
What's even more concerning for me is that between 1994 and 2018 there have been 26 schools cricket captains and all of them have come from only 16 schools out of approximately more than 6,000 schools in South Africa.Dr Habib Noorbhai, Senior lecturer in sports science - University of Johannesburg
He says it's concerning that the county has talented cricketers falling by the wayside due to a lack of support structures.
We really need to widen the spread of the number of schools that there are in the country that can offer the opportunities as well as the access to facilities or feeder systems for boys to really excel at cricket at the highest level.Dr Habib Noorbhai, Senior lecturer in sports science - University of Johannesburg
It's not just facilities or structures, it's levels of coaching. It's the type of coaching that is on offer. It's the culture that's embedded within the school. It's different support structures and systems. The list of enabling factors in such schools goes on, and it really contributes to the success of a cricketer.Dr Habib Noorbhai, Senior lecturer in sports science - University of Johannesburg
Studies such as these should inform the strategies that could be implemented by South African cricket development to identify and nurture talented players.Dr Habib Noorbhai, Senior lecturer in sports science - University of Johannesburg
Dr Noorbhai says they now want to explore whether this scenario is also repeated for other sports codes in the country.
For more on his findings, take a listen:
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