Patriarchal Supporting Sport And Men-Control Of SASCOC Must Be Challenged! By Cheryl Roberts

22 Apr

1ntambi ravele

SASCOC’s men-dominated Board must answer why a SASCOC Board member thought he could shoot down a potential nomination for the SASCOC presidency. Nominations to serve on the SASCOC Board are open to any person deciding to stand for elections, irrespective of gender, sexuality, class, colour, financial status. But why did a man official, himself standing for SASCOC elections deem it okay for him to shoot down the potential nomination of a woman official in sport?
South Africa’s controlling body for sport, SASCOC is due to have elections. And the elections are being fiercely contested by a certain Coloured cabal, and other independent sports officials.
When a woman official informed her sports federation she was going to be available for the SASCOC presidency, it was two men who decided that she ‘wasn’t good enough’ nor suitably capable’ to be SASCOC presidency. Who gave these men the permission to decide on another person’s worth? The men are SASCOC Board member Barry Hendricks and President of Tennis South Africa Gavin Crookes, who between them had a little convo and in a few words, finalised that the person they were discussing for the SASCOC presidency wasn’t to be supported.
The woman whose election worth they decided upon was Ntambi Ravele: a black woman and a seasoned sports official. Both men making the decision about her SASCOC worth were not black.
And here we have it again: why must men always decide on the worth of a black woman? Who said that SASCOC Board member Barry Hendricks and TSA president Gavin Crookes had anything about them to decide the worth of a woman in sport? After their ‘decision’ about Ntambi Ravele not having what it took to be SASCOC President, Ntambi Ravele couldn’t get support for her SASCOC nomination from her sports federation and that’s because the TSA president listened to and took the opinion of another who happened to be a man sports official, as being the only ‘correct opinion’ about the woman official in sport. The woman official, that is Ntambi Ravele didn’t even have a chance to indicate why she wanted to be SASCOC President.
This raises very serious questions about how women officials in sport are perceived! With men controlling sports officialdom in men-dominated sports, its very very difficult for women to get into leadership. And when do women get into sport officialdom? Only when they are supporting men in sport and are prepared to take up positions behind the men and in full support of the men.
Here was a woman official in sport who believed in her worth and had the confidence to say she could be president of SASCOC, South Africa’s highest controlling sports body. Why did it take men to decide otherwise? The one answer is that Ntambi Ravele would have been a rival to Barry Hendricks. The other is men officials in sport believe only in their own selves, even when they are mediocre and weak quality. Their patriarchal socialisation has given them the power to always believe they are ‘the best’ even when mediocre.
Sport official Ntambi Ravele was obviously shocked about these proceedings; how she had no support from men in sport. So she used her woman’s power and further believed that she could challenge these men of Barry Hendricks and the TSA president. She wrote to South Africa’s Minister of Sport, explaining to him what had happened and asked for further direction. She dared to challenge men sports officials who just decided on her worth.
Ntambi Ravele was brave and fearless. She did this for all women in sport; women who want to contest elections in sport but are always shot down in favour of men officials. And Ntambi Ravele stood her ground. SASCOC heard her, they intervened with independent arbitration to assess the ‘case against SASCOC Board member Barry Hendricks’. Recently, the SASCOC Board acting upon recommendation of independent litigation and arbitration, voted to have Barry Hendricks take leave of absence’ from his position as SASCOC acting president.
A woman sports official has dared to confront men domination of sport, of some men deciding on a woman’s worth and ‘fitness’ for a position in sport officialdom. This is already a victory for the consciousness of women to know and believe in their worth. If I was doing arbitration I would recommend that both Barry Hendricks and the TSA president Gavin Crookes not be allowed to serve on a national sports body for at least two years, that they undergo cleansing of their ‘a man is superior in sport’ thinking/mentality, that they apologise to Ntambi Ravele and all women for ever believing they had the power to decide on a woman’s worth.
Also, all the women, in the cabal supporting Barry Hendricks must answer who are they supporting and why are they giving support to a man in sport who shot down another woman’s worth?
I’m also asking about the women’s voices: where are they and why are they quiet and allowing men to decide on women’s worth in sport? Why are the women sports officials quiet? Why was Ntambi Ravele left to fight this battle of gender discrimination and domination on her own? And why are you allowing men to decide they are the only ones worthy of being SASCOC president? Now you understand why men-dominated officialdom gives you the crumbs in sport? Its because women just accept their domination by men in sport!

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