A poll conducted by market research company, Ipsos, finds that South Africans are divided along ethnic lines when it comes to their favourite national sports team.
Ipsos noted that President Nelson Mandela’s fierce support of the Springbok rugby team in 1995, unified the country like never before.
However, before the Springbok’s departure to the most recent Rugby World Cup event in England last month, there was controversy about the choice of players – not only due to their fitness and game form, but also about the representivity of the team and the population groups to which players belong.
Ipsos conducted 3,564 personal face-to-face interview, and asked two questions: “Which is your favourite national sports team?” and “What is your favourite sport?”
Almost three in every ten (28%) South Africans said that they do not have a favourite team – this group was made up of mostly of females – with 4 in every 10 (43%) having no favourite team to speak of.
The research team stressed that the study was conducted prior to the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the shock defeat of the Springboks by Japan.
The results for ‘favourite sport’ were essentially the same as the findings above, Ipsos said.
However, 3% of South Africans mentioned netball as their favourite sport, all of them female. Other sports mentioned (by small proportions) include: hockey, tennis, golf, boxing, basketball, athletics/running, swimming, volleyball, water polo, wrestling, dancing, softball cycling, fishing and hunting.
Proudly South Africa
Almost eight in every 10 South Africans (77%) agree that they are proud to be South African, regardless of what sport they support.
This sentiment is slightly more pronounced amongst the younger age group (18 – 24 year olds).