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HSRC Press :: The Race to Transform

The Race to Transform
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The Race to Transform

Sport in post-apartheid South Africa

Ashwin Desai (ed)

Format148mm x 198mm (Soft Cover)
ISBN 100-7969-2319-1
ISBN 13978-07969-2319-6
Publish Year2010
RightsWorld Rights
DescriptionRelated ProductsEmail To A FriendProduct RatingCustomer Reviews

The Race to Transform  :: Sport in post-apartheid South AfricaFree DownloadThe Race to Transform  :: Sport in post-apartheid South Africa


The Race to Transform: Sport in post-apartheid South Africa takes stock of sport in South Africa, and provides a pioneering exploration of how sport reflects matters such as enduring inequality, racial transformation and the making (or otherwise) of a common South African destiny.

To date, much sports writing has been celebratory, paying attention to 'big' moments like the winning of the Rugby World Cups, and hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2010. With the lens focused on national teams, there has been less emphasis on how South Africa's transition has impacted on township sport. This book provides a view on the relationship between elite and grassroots sport in the context of growing economic disparities and the emergence of an influential black middle and super-rich class.

Divided into chapters delving into a diverse set of sporting codes, The Race to Transform enlivens and transcends the technical debates and contestations around transformation that have become such a prominent part of sports discourse. The contributors, a mix of activist intellectuals and those directly involved in the game, outline an agenda for both theory and practice in the ongoing debate about sport and transformation in South Africa.

Every sports lover who realises the power of politics and economics over his or her beloved game must read this book. Written in a style that is accessible and interesting, it is essential reading also for administrators, social scientists and people with an interest in social change.

  1. Introduction: Long run to freedom? Sports in post-apartheid South Africa
    Ashwin Desai
  2. Creepy crawlies, portapools and the dam(n)s of swimming transformation
    Ashwin Desai and Ahmed Veriava
  3. Inside ‘the house of pain’: A case study of the Jaguars Rugby Club
    Ashwin Desai and Zayn Nabbi
  4. ‘Transformation’ from above: The upside down state of contemporary South African soccer
    Dale T. McKinley
  5. Women’s bodies & the world of football in South Africa
    Prishani Naidoo and Zanele Muholi
  6. Jumping over the hurdles: Political analysis of transformation measures in South African athletics
    Justin van der Merwe
  7. Beyond the nation? Colour and class in South African cricket
    Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed
  8. Between black and white: A case study of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KZNCU)
    Goolam Vahed, Vishnu Padayachee and Ashwin Desai
About the Author/s

Ashwin Desai was previously a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Sociological Research at the University of Johannesburg. He is presently Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at Rhodes University. Ashwin is widely regarded as one of South Africa's foremost social commentators. His work is internationally celebrated for its courage and clarity of vision and for its focus on the lived experience of oppression and resistance.


“There is often not enough serious thought given to the long term implications and impacts of decisions in the sports arena, and the change discourse is often superficial. The Race to Transform provides a useful tool for thinking sports people to step back and try to understand the macro environment in which sport operates. “

- Andre Odendaal, Honorary Professor at the University of the Western Cape and CEO of the Western Province Cricket Association

“I warmly welcome this work on the current state of sport in South Africa. The role of sport in generating development and uniting the country merits rigorous analysis, and this book is especially valuable, for it lays bare the gap between the government’s stated aims and reality. The Race to Transform is as courageous as it is honest: a brilliant off-field performance to help us really understand what is happening on-field.”

- Dennis Brutus, anti-apartheid sports activist and Honorary Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Centre for Civil Society

"THE RACE TO TRANSFORM: SPORT IN POST-APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA - a relentlessly intelligent and provocative book that eschews simple-minded projections on sports transformations in SA."

- Ami Nanackchand, The Post Newspaper, 26 May 2010

"This publication will stimulate debate, encourage people involved in sport to think more critically about policies of transformation and prod all of us to turn a more nuanced eye on sporting activities in general."

- The Mercury - 27 May 2010

Click on the links below to read the reviews:

Media coverage: Sunday Tribune 11/04/2010 - Race to Transform: Sport in post-apartheid South Africa

Media Coverage: Sunday Tribune 25/04/2010 - Race to Transform: Sport in post-apartheid South Africa

Media coverage: Race to Transform - The Post Newspaper - 26 May 2010

Media coverage: Race to Transform - The Mercury Newspaper - 27 May 2010

Media coverage: Race to Transform - The Eastern Express Newspaper - 28 May 2010



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