South African sports

Sport is extremely popular in South Africa, particularly amongst the black community that comprise the majority of the country’s population.  Football is the most popular and the footy mad South Africans hosted the 2010 World Cup, the first of the tournaments to ever be held on the African continent.  Other popular sports include Rugby, Cricket, boxing and running.

Rugby Union/ League

Both forms of Rugby are popular in South Africa but it is Union that is the version the national side is best known for. The Springboks as they are called have won the Rugby World Cup twice since its creation, once in 1995 and another in 2007. Currently there are around half a million registered Rugby Union players in South Africa with over 10,000 of them female.


Cricket is the second most popular sport in South Africa closely coming in behind Football. It is particularly popular amongst English speaking expats and immigrants and it is the only sport to be in the top two sports favoured by both whites and blacks alike. South Africa is one of the leading cricket playing nations in the world and hosted the sports world cup in 2003 and were runners up in 2007.


South Africa is one of the world’s great golfing nations and boasts a long and successful history.  Golf is easily the best individual sports event that South Africans participate in, with the quantity and quality of South African players being of the top order. Golfing greats such as Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus come from South Africa.

Horse Racing

Horse Racing is a hugely popular sport in South Africa with races taking place regularly all over the country. The origins of the sport can be traced as far back as the 1790’s with the first recorded club meeting being held in 1802.

The three biggest races of the year are the Summer Cup in Johannesburg, the J&B Met in Cape Town and the Vodacom in Durban.