Sport In The Struggle Exhibition

Sports in the struggle

While discrimination in sport based on race has been a phenomenon almost since Europeans first settled in the Cape, this denying of the right to play sports regardless of one’s race became more pronounced with the formalising of sports competitions and organising during the second half o the nineteenth century.  These conditions became regulated under the National Party government in the 1950’s.

Sporting events where South Africans of different races competed against each other was outlawed, sports facilities for players and spectators were segregated, and transgressors were intimidated and forced to comply.

The Olympic principle in sport, namely that there should be no discrimination allowed in sport regardless of race, religion or political affiliation was systemically denied the majority of South Africans during Apartheid.

Countless sports people of colour suffered under this repressive system and were denied the opportunity to compete at the highest level in the sport.

The “Sport in the Struggle” exhibition is a display of prominent figures and events that reflect the role for sport in the Anti-Apartheid struggle leading up to democracy in South Africa.





This exhibition is currently not on display




Registration is not required for this event


Coming soon.


The "Sport in the Struggle" exhibition is a display of prominent figures and events that reflects the role for sport in the Anti-Apartheid struggle leading up to democracy in South Africa.

A brief as to the form and content of the exhibition was given by the Director General in early November 2012.

It was developed in 2013 as an A1 Poster format.  It was displayed/launched in 9 venues (one in each province).

In 2014 the content was revised and expanded.  

The exhibition is traveling throughout the country.

The main purpose of the Sport in the Struggle Exhibition is to remember, preserve, celebrate and provide education about SA’s lesser known sport history.
The purpose and concept of the exhibition is four-fold.

The exhibition will serve as a vehicle to educate children about the history of sport in SA and its role in the struggle against Apartheid. 

Remembrance: To adult visitors the exhibition should be a remembrance, a part of SA’s heritage, and a reminder that the history of sport in the context of Apartheid and the struggle against it should not be forgotten.

The exhibition honors the heroes of yesteryear whose sporting achievements weren’t recognised by the society of the day.


Physically it consist mainly of upright, self standing aluminium panels with graphic designs consisting of words, photos and drawings that tell the story of a particular event or person in the history of SA sport.

The panels form a rough storyline starting with the early days of sport during the turn of the nineteenth century, through the years of Apartheid, highlights the role sport played in the struggle against oppression, and end with the return of democracy and equality in sport in 1994.

The panels featuring interesting facts, stories and details that endeavour to introduce the viewer in an engaging way to some of the prominent and not-so-prominent black sportspeople of that era.

1st Edition in 2013 was exhibited in all 9 provinces during Human Rights Month (20 March – 30 April)

Extended exhibition was hosted at the following venues:

  1. Apartheids Museum, Johannesburg (2014)
  2. Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland (2014)
  3. Potchefstroom Library & Museum (March – May 2015)
  4. Kimberley, McGregor Museum  (May – June 2015)
  5. National Museum, Bloemfontein (July – Sept 2015)
  6. East London Museum (Oct 2015 – Jan 2016)
  7. King Williams Town, Steve Biko Centre (Feb – Apr 2016)
  8. Pietermaritzburg, Msunduzi Museum  (May – Aug 2016)
  9. Nasrec Expo, Johannesburg (June 2017)
  10. Budget Vote, Cape Town (2018)
  11. Sol Plaatjies University, Kimberley (Sept - Nov2018)
  12. SA Sports Awards (Nov 2018)
  13. Library & Museum, Potchefstroom (Nov 2018 - Mar 2019)
  14. Budget Vote, Cape Town (2019)
  15. SA Sports Awards (Nov 2019)


SRSA contact: Tersia Grobler


Tel: (012) 304-5016

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