Will Roland Schoeman defect to Qatar?

I have just read in an Australian newspaper that Roland Schoeman, world record holder and one of South Africa’s top swimmers, has been offered Millions of Dollars to defect to and subsequently represent The Kingdom of Qatar.

Qatar is an oil-rich Middle Eastern country that has no swimming history whatsoever. Here in my comfy armchair, I am absolutely furious that this has happened. I remembered how disgusted I was with Qatar when they bought Shaheen, a Kenyan athlete, in the same way.

And now they’re trying the same with one of our very own.

While I abhor what Qatar is doing, I don’t know how I would judge Roland if he took the money and swam. He gets no support financially or otherwise from any of the South African sports bodies. This really pisses me off, because without people like Roland and Ryk Neethling the administrators wouldn’t have thier cushy jobs.

But it is not just about principles. A consequense of these principles is that sportsmen like Roland & Ryk struggle financially and they almost always have to depend on sponsorships to make a living. And you can only get sponsorships if you’re at the very top of your discipline. If it wasn’t for the American University swimming scene, guys like Roland wouldn’t be able to practice their craft.

So even though I would be very sad to see this bright star leave SA, I’m not sure I can judge him.

I must stress though that sofar nothing suggests that Roland has accepted the offer and I really hope he doesn’t.

3 thoughts on “Will Roland Schoeman defect to Qatar?

Add yours

  1. In plaas van ‘n potgooi, hier’s ‘n klipgooi in die bos.

    Soos ek in een van my vorige blogs gesO het, almal van ons soek “praise and recognition”. So ook atlete. Was ons kwaad to Zola Engeland toe wou gaan? Is ons vies as Suid-Afrika ander talent verloor deur emigrasie? Is ons kwaad dat “gewone” mense hulle talente in ander lande inspan en aansoek doen vir burgerskap in daardie lande? Weet sulke mense nie waar hulle lojaliteit is nie…? Hoekom mag Roland dit nie doen nie?

    Soos jy sO, Suid-Afrika gee nie hulle atlete die praise of recognition of geld nie. Inteendeel, soos jy genoem het, hulle skryf nie eers beriggies oor ons atlete wat wOreldklastye opstel nie.

    As ‘n maatskappy jou baie meer geld aanbied vir jou talente, gawes en arbeid, en jy voel dat jy daar ‘n groter impak gaan hO, gaan jy dit nie aanneem nie omdat jy lojaal is teenoor jou huidige maatskappy wat jou minder krediet, geld en aansien gee?

    Wat maak dit saak tussen watter grense ons ouers was toe ons gebore is? Beteken dit ewige lojaliteit vir daardie grondgebied?

    En hoekom dink ons atlete is soveel meer geregtig op meer geleenthede omdat hulle ‘n besondere talent het? Is ons almal nie veronderstel om dieselfde geleenthede gegun te word in die lewe nie?

    As Roland Schoeman Qatar toe gaan, dan tree hy bloot menslik op. En as hy Suid-Afrikaans wil bly, haal ek my hoed vir hom af.

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