Sports and Recreation

South Africa's climate is ideal for outdoor sports and recreation all through the year. Soccer, rugby and cricket are the most popular sports in South Africa. South Africans also enjoy tennis, field hockey, squash, badminton, golf, surfing, sailing, running and cycling.

During the apartheid years many sectors of the South African population were forbidden to participate in certain sports. To protest this policy, the international community did not allow South African national teams to compete in international events, including the Olympics. This changed after apartheid was repealed. Sport has brought the various ethnic groups of South Africa closer together. For example, in 1995 during the Rugby World Cup tournament, hosted for the first time in South Africa, the whole nation rallied around the South African Rugby Team, which succeeded in winning the William Webb Ellis Trophy in the final against New Zealand. The current government is working to upgrade facilities and make sport accessible to everyone.

Cinema remains one of the most popular forms of entertainment in South Africa, with over 26 million people going to the movies every year. Other favourite recreational pastimes include music, dancing and socializing. South Africans have a strong musical tradition and dance is considered an important component of recreation and of communicating with others.

Did you know?

South Africa has one of the finest cricket teams in the world.