FORGIVENESS – Alan Jacobs on forgiving chances denied

Apartheid robbed thousands of top-class South African athletes the opportunity of representing their country. And while some have had to simply accept that fact and move on with their lives, cialis one such athlete’s journey to forgiveness has been made slightly easier by the fact that his son has now been afforded the opportunities he never had. Alan Jacobs spoke to Karien Jonckeere about real forgiving.

Alan Jacobs admits it took him many years to let go of the resentment he harboured, viagra buy having missed out on wearing green and gold on the hockey field. Having represented Western Province in the highly segregated hockey arena for 12 years (eight as captain), viagra order he had the talent that could have taken him to an Olympics or World Cup. But instead he had to realise that dream through his son, Bruce, who is currently the captain of the SA men’s hockey team.

“Personally I know that I could have made it at international level and so I was very angry that I didn’t get the chance but I hoped that one day my children would,” explained Jacobs, who is now 54 and works as a mechanical engineer in Cape Town.

“I have managed to get over that anger. It took a long time though. Up until a few years ago I was still very bitter about it. But I have forgiven now. That’s the only way you’re going to move on. You have to let go to move forward and work together to make things right by forgetting the past.

“That doesn’t mean I’ve completely forgotten – it’s always something that’s in the back of your mind,” he added.

“Two to three years ago I was still very upset about it – that I never got the opportunities because of the Apartheid years. I think my life would have been very different, not only sportswise but also in business if I had the same opportunities that my children have.

“And even at this stage coloured and black players have to work so hard to achieve at the highest level. The playing fields should be level by now but they don’t seem to be and it’s not just in hockey – it’s in rugby and everything.”

Jacobs stopped playing hockey just a few years before unification of the separate hockey bodies but continued to be involved in the sport, serving as a selector for the SA under 21 side for three years and also as convener of selectors for Western Province. But in 2000 came one of his proudest moments when his son was selected for the SA team. And in late 2004 it got even better when Bruce was chosen as the team captain (the SA hockey team’s first captain of colour) to lead the side at the Africa Cup and then the Commonwealth Games.

“A lot has been made up for with him having the opportunity to play internationally and to go to events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. And I think it was important for me to forgive for my missed opportunities so I could focus on him and supporting him and his team,” reckoned Jacobs who travelled to Melbourne earlier this year to support his son at the Commonwealth Games.

As for Bruce, he is all too aware of the significance of his being able to represent his country.

“I knew that my father was good enough to play internationally during his time, but did not have the opportunity due to apartheid so it was very emotional for me to go to the Olympics. I basically lived his dream for him and that is why he felt so proud,” he reckoned.

“I will never forget where I come from and all the sacrifices my family had to make to give me all these opportunities.” – Heartlines Features.

Heartlines
Written by Heartlines

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