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Soccer World Cup is over now and I guess after so much soccer it's time to check what other sports we love here in South Africa!
Sports such as soccer and basketball are famous worldwide, but specific sports are beloved in some regions while marginalised in other parts of the world. Due to its beautiful nature, South Africa is quite fond of cycling and nurtures the sport in both the amateur/recreational and professional sense. The cycle race scene is strong in the country and South Africans experience cycling as a fun and fast activity which can also be family-oriented, as well as a sport that is healthy, wholesome and exciting. You can find out more about cycling in SA below.
Rugby is one of the ‘Big 3’ in South African sports, aside from soccer and cricket. Rugby matches get the entire nation on its feet and many South Africans see rugby as a source of pride or disappointment. In the past, the game was associated with politics and the old apartheid system. Today, rugby is the game of all South Africans, with the country performing extremely well on the world stage. In South Africa, both rugby union and rugby league are played. Rugby union is a full-contact sport with 15-player teams, whereas rugby league is a more fast-paced version of the sport played with 13 players in a team.
When it comes to cricket, SA is one of the world's leading nations. According to many, cricket is the second most popular sport in the country, behind soccer. Multiple nations living in South Africa keep the sport livelier than ever, including the English-speaking population, Afrikaans-speaking whites, and the Asian/Indian community. Cricket was introduced into the South African territories by the British after South Africa was turned into a permanent British settlement.
Tennis may not be in the top three sports in South Africa, but there have been reasonable interest and notable popularity around this individual sport. South African tennis is reaching new heights as a more diverse population is starting to show interest in tennis, more than 25 years since the apartheid regime. People usually comment on South African tennis as being a big sport in the nation, but also a sort of a sleeping giant.
SA is a sports-mad country. When you put aside all soccer fans, cricket fans and rugby fans, what do you have left? Golf fans! Yes, South Africans are quite fond of golf, and it comes as no surprise considering the vast natural beauties of South Africa as a country and the prerogatives it counts on when it comes to maintaining golf courses within its borders. South African golfers do very well in this classy outdoor sport, do to multiple factors including great weather all year round, good coaching availability, access to golf courses for young golfers and long-term development programs. The Rainbow Nation has all the ingredients to produce first-class golfers, and that’s exactly what it has been doing over the last 60 years.
The South African nation is privileged when it comes to watersports, surfing in particular. The country’s magical coastline and legendary waves contribute to maintaining some of the best surfing spots in the world. South African surfers are passionate; they devote a lot of time and energy to ride the tide and impress the audience back on the beach. The SA part of the African coastline is pounded with 2,000 kilometres of waves, which influenced surfing to become an integral part of the South African culture and social life. Popular surf spots are frequented from early morning until sundown by both old and young surfers, competing at picking out the best wave of the day. The excellent surf conditions in SA enable a number of local and internationally rated surf contests to take place annually.