The Hack: Reunions offer chance for reflection

There are always differing opinions when it comes to attending school reunions. For some it’s a chance to catch up with old mates, some of whom you may have lost touch with over the years. For others it’s a dreaded weekend of small talk and trying to sound interested in the goings on in the lives of people you weren’t too fond of in high school.

Fortunately I fell into the first group when it came to attending assembly for my 10 year reunion at our alma mater yesterday. Sitting in the hall at King Edward VII School for assembly offered a chance for reflection on both the past, present and future.

I was one of the fortunate ones, able to go to a school that provided a number of opportunities. I wasn’t too gifted on the sports field, which is why I now write about sport, but the chance to play hockey on an astro or attend cricket practice at turf nets was there.

There’s been plenty of fallout after the bold proclamation from Fikile Mbalula regarding transformation and the punishment meted out on five different sporting codes for a failure to meet certain guidelines.

Our reunion was part of four different groups of Old Boys, the oldest class dating back to 1986, and the point was raised that the dynamic was different. You could see the contrast with the 2006 group where black and white swopped stories and relived high school memories.

You can see it when you watch schoolboy sport and its not restricted to certain codes. Schoolboy teams are starting to reflect South African demographics. But some school s still miss the mark.

It’s been one of the arguments raised in the aftermath of the minister of sport and recreation’s actions that the process is occurring already. But it’s only restricted to certain schools. Moneyed schools. Let’s be realistic here.

But as much as people have moaned nobody has offered up any real solutions. All it’s done is create a bit of a division of opinions. Some argue that transformation happens at grassroots, others reckon it starts at the top. Some have blamed government and the failure to address various social and economic needs.

The blame game. The easiest route.

If a waitress can capitalise on an incident that once again polarises black and white why can’t a solution be found when it comes to unearthing sporting talent. I know a few organisations, who do fantastic work in impoverished areas, struggling to get support from both public and private enterprise.

It’s going to take teamwork to try and satisfy everyone. This is an issue that won’t just die down. But the reality is that it shouldn’t be seen as an issue. It’s just about speeding up the progression of future talent, without cutting corners, and providing opportunities.

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