Leading up to the Rugby World Cup 2019 – South Africa on the right track

As we gear up for the biggest event on the rugby calendar, people all over traditional and social media debate the various teams' chances in Japan, and how each team should stack up throughout the tournament. In the first of a number of previews and profiles of the top teams in this year's World Cup, I look at the Springboks and their form and depth running into the showcase in Japan.

Ireland and Wales’ final preparations for RWC

This weekend will see the final preparation matches ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan at the end of September. One of the most influential matches of the weekend will take place in Dublin, as Ireland and Wales will clash in their second match in two weeks; a match which can have great ramifications for the much debated official World Rankings.

Selecting a preferred Springbok side

After the announcement of the 31-man Springbok Squad on Monday, it is clear that Rassie Erasmus' chargers are filled with talent and depth. This makes it more challenging for the head of SA Rugby to select a first choice starting lineup heading into the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Who gets the axe? – RWC 2019 Bok squad

With the Springbok squad Rugby World Cup announcement just a day away, and with media all over South Africa speculating about which one out of the current 32-man squad will miss out, I thought I should add my voice into the conversation. With just 31 places available in the Rugby World Cup 2019 squad, competition for all places is fierce, and provides a positive selection headache for the Bok coach for the first time since the last World Cup.

Double silver for Bodybuilding Botha

After a successful trip to Taranto, Italy, Francois Botha can call himself Makhanda’s Mr Universe, as he finished second in his two categories at the International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (IBFF) Mr Universe competition in late June. Botha, who is only 20 years-old, competed in the tournament for the first time in 2019, competing in the Junior U23 category, as well as the Senior Men’s 80kg category, placing second in both.

Making the EC SA’s sport capital

On Thursday 4 July, the MEC for the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC), Fezeka Bayeni, addressed the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, detailing the 2019/20 MEC Policy updates for the coming year. In her speech, Bayeni set out the plans, goals and budgets for the Eastern Cape DSRAC, as well as detailed to what extent each of the various aspects of the department will be focused on the coming months.

Makhanda 2019 Freedom Day Celebrations

On Saturday 27 April, I was lucky enough to cover the Freedom Day celebrations in Makhanda, which gave me the unique opportunity to be within a 5m radius of the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa. While others at Grocott's Mail were tasked with the writing and social media updates of the event, I was given the task of taking great photos. Here are the best photos that I took on the day:

Eat well, train hard, run farther

As the GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half-Marathon creeps its way closer, with just 15 weeks to go until race-day on 24 August, runners and walkers planning on tackling the mountain should be starting their training for the event. However, what many first time runners do not always take into consideration is the importance of one’s diet while training.

Semenya struggle unites SA

While the majority of the country was swept up in election-fever, South African sports fans were outraged by the decision made by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Court of Arbitration on Wednesday 1 May, stating that athletes competing in the 800m sprints must be within a certain testosterone level to compete in women’s events. This directly affected Caster Semenya, who has naturally-elevated testosterone levels.

Develop facilities to develop stars

After the release of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report on transformation in South Africa on Tuesday 23 April, the question of transformation in sport, youth development and sporting infrastructure was once again brought to the fore. While the focus seems to be on the number of top level athletes in various sporting codes forming a representative number of the population, it has to be acknowledged that in order truly transform sport, more emphasis is needed on athlete identification and development, as well as infrastructure building and maintenance.