Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
3 minute read
2 Oct 2021
9:00 am

Sports minister: Just a stop-gap post for politicians

Wesley Botton

Multiple sports ministers have helped resolve conflicts in national federations in recent years, but they've done little else.

Nathi Mthethwa, the Minister of Sport and Recreation, welcomes home the national team after the 2019 Netball World Cup. Picture: Gallo Images

When you're lying in the dirt, trailing your opponents at the bottom of the ninth, you turn to your best player. If you rely on a rookie under pressure, you'd better enjoy a diet consisting of dust. Over the years, the government has treated the sports minister's post as a stop-gap for politicians, and it seems the last question they ask someone before filling the spot in a cabinet reshuffle is the most important of all: "Do you know anything about sport?" They do put on a show, occasionally donating equipment or erecting football and netball posts in disadvantaged areas....