Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport will Continue to Curb Sport Violence | Western Cape Government


Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport will Continue to Curb Sport Violence

13 May 2009
Riaan Loots, a young man with a promise of a bright sporting future lost his life in a fatal incident on a Rawsonville rugby field in 2006. This was during a period where a wave of violent sport incidents had engulfed the sport fraternity. Loots was, just one of the many people, affected by this heinous wave of violence which broke the number one rule of sport, unity. This incident and the many others like it in 2007, brought rise to the Riaan Loots Campaign Against Violence in Sport.

In a concentrated effort to carry on this Campaign, now in the prevention phase, the Department of Cultural Affairs will be hosting a spectator development programme in the Boland on the 14th to 16th May 2009. The programme will serve as an educational platform for spectators on the correct behaviour on a sport field.

Following an investigation by government into these incidents it was found that mainly club traditions and not necessarily racial antagonism, was the root cause. Clubs with a championship history do not take very well to a sudden losing streak, which therefore raises frustration and aggression among the players.

The causal factors of violence in sport; according to the investigation could be contributed to, especially at club level, a lack of proper playing grounds and grounds which are too small, which then caused tension for players and the supporters. They also revealed that alcohol abuse was a major cause in spectator violence, this caused by uncontrolled sale of alcohol on the grounds. Club games are often played in poor communities where the sale of alcohol is rife, spectators then come to the grounds with alcohol or come attend, already in an inebriated state.

The programme will focus initially on schools as they have proven to be the foundation of any sport activity, the best place to send messages and to create a culture of non-violence from a tender age. The development programme will also include coaching clinics for rugby players.

Schools targeted for the programme, are concentrated in the Boland Region, which has been plagued by incidents of rugby violence. The schools are: Skurweberg Primary School (Witzenberg), Bella Vista Primary School (Ceres), Mbekweni Primary (Paarl), Klein Nederburg Secondary School (Wellington) and the Nuwe Hoop Centre (Worcester).

Media Enquiries: 

Angus Flowers
Media Liaison Officer for Cultural Affairs, Sport and Recreation
Tel: 021 483 9800
Cell: 078 444 8509