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In the President’s corner ÔÇô Gideon Sam

It’s hard to believe that 2010 is moving along so quickly. The coming months will see us focusing very much on preparations for the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore and then the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The attention that the youth team will receive should give us a good idea of exactly where we are in terms of youth sports development in this country.

There are already so many development programmes for the youth, but we need to see what these programmes produce to make us comfortable in the knowledge that the future of our sport is healthy and in good hands.

What we need to assess is whether the coaches are spending enough time at this level of development in our sport. At our recent Presidents’ Council meeting in Boksburg, the delegates expressed concerns around school sport and the lack of training of coaches to operate in schools.

So it is definitely a matter that will be receiving top priority at the highest level in the months ahead. Therefore, we look forward to seeing the make-up of the final squad that will be going to Singapore. More important will be how they actually perform at the Youth Olympics.

I’ve always said that we are going to be strict in terms of multi-sport teams chosen for international duty. There is simply no room for passengers. The Commonwealth Games will also give us a sense of how strong our competitors are, coming less than two years from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The High Performance Team at SASCOC is keeping a close eye on the athletes in the Operation Excellence (OPEX) programme and it is pleasing to see how the athletes have responded. With calls from our broader public for better performances, we have had no choice but to work harder to assist our athletes in their preparations.

My personal wish is to see many of our athletes take off in the second half of 2011 to concentrate on their preparations. It may be a bit late but with the resources at our disposal that may just be about the best we can do.

Our efforts to strengthen our relationship with the horseracing fraternity is designed to raise money to make this possible and to ensure that we are competitive in London. The training camps being planned locally and abroad are geared towards this and ensuring that the athletes know well in advance what is required to perform at the highest level.

The country’s top canoeists have already assembled in Port Edward on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast and there will be more of these camps in the various sports. Top performances will need support not only from SASCOC but from the federations too.

Our Presidents’ Council came out very strongly on the issue of governance and leadership in our federations. The audit we are instituting is aimed at making sure that these matters of leadership and governance aren’t neglected within our federations. Where we can assist to grow a federation we will gladly do so but if we must weed out barely existing federations, we will not hesitate to recommend to SRSA to do so.

Great performances in sport are dependent on solid pillars of leadership, governance, structures, systems and funding. We must take a closer look at all of these if we are going to be world-beaters. Our World Cup-winning national rugby team has shown the way and we must follow their example and perform.

Two exciting programmes are also in the process of being launched. These are the Coach Education and Upgrading Administration Skills programmes that will be driven by SASCOC. We have brought on board two tertiary institutions for the coach education programme and a SETA for the administration skills programme.

Our federations should benefit tremendously from these programmes. We all agreed at our Limpopo and Cape Town council meetings that we should look at the support personnel of our athletes. Poor coaches and administrators are not going to help this country perform against the best in the world.

Looking at the athletics world it’s heartening to see our athletes performing again at the revived Yellow Pages series and I know that our interim administrator Ray Mali is anxious to finalise matters so that he can start preparing for the elections which cannot be later than May when his agreed term of duty comes to an end.
The issue of Sports Councils will reach finality at our April Council meeting when the last outstanding provinces will
receive their SASCOC membership.

In terms of sponsorship, this remains an elusive issue, but the Lotto continues to fund some vital programmes and it is an ongoing process to market our sporting excellence to the corporate world and get them to part with that much-needed financial clout.

And finally there’s the question of the Fifa World Cup. Kick-off in June is approaching like a runaway train and we continue to motivate our federations to go all out in support of our national football team, Bafana Bafana, as they take on the best in the world in our own backyard. The World Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase South Africa … each and every South African must embrace it.


23 comments
LINDA MONI
LINDA MONI

kindly supply the constitution of SASCOC we would like to join our CHAMPIONS GYM under SASCOC sporting codes.

Ntsokolo Skweyiya
Ntsokolo Skweyiya

I'm very dissapointed by the sascoc on this issue of athletics in south africa during the council meeting they came up with a propasal that we should elect the 7 members we then as provinces refuse on that propasal therefore sascoc dicided on a date for election it is clear that sascoc does not respect the constitution of athletics south africa it is stated in the constitution that council meeting is the biggest decision making in athletics we are requesting as province that sascoc should also look to other sporting code like soccer,cricket and rugby boxing there are challeges there leave athletics

Antie Stander
Antie Stander

Hallo Mark - what a great publication - we buy all of them. Thank goodness for the article on Rikenette, really VERY VERY special!! Hope you can influence the votes against Richard Stander - I have not seen such arrogance; just calculate the bottomline - he waste medals, disregard development of athletes and he has his own very sickening POLITICAL agenda. PLEASE DO SOMETHING. Kind regards

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Ntsokolo, sorry for the delay. I've alerted SASCOC to your query and will get back to you soonest!

Ntsokolo Skweyiya
Ntsokolo Skweyiya

I'm still waiting for the respond to my question that i ask on the 14 June 2010 now the IAAF has responded therefore we Athletics South Africa will go back to its roots

Sean
Sean

Can't wait for the Cape Town Olympic bid!

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Joe. As Managing Editor of the Road to London,2012 I can't really afford to take one view or the other and merely attempt to put out as much information as possible on the various Olympic sports. You'll understand that the myriad Olympic codes is a time-consuming process. What I'll do is take your concerns to SASCOC and see if they can help you further. I agree though that Athletics South Africa has many issues that they need to work through on the road ahead. Kind regards Mark

Joe Ruiters
Joe Ruiters

Mr Etheridge, for the record my enquiry is not a grievance but an enquiry. I firstly want to know what do you think of the response you received from Mr Stander (ASA). Do SASCOC support their view? This shall determine how I shall proceed. Regards. Joe

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Joe. Sorry for the delay but deadline for the magazine has kept me occupied. I did relay numerous concerns to Richard Stander and the reply I have is as follows: "It is not the practice of ASA to discuss grievances of parents or coaches through the media. We respect the privacy of our members. The relevant individual knew how to contact ASA in the first. If the individual need closure on the matters they need to follow the matter up with ASA, which has answers to the relevant questions. It is however their democratic right to communicate with the media. I hope the media is in a position to give them the right answer. Athletics greetings Hope that helps in some way Joe. I appreciate your concern. If you want to contact Richard directly I can supply his email? Kind regards. Mark Etheridge

Joe Ruiters
Joe Ruiters

Mr Etheridge I think I have been fair in providing you and Mr Stander sufficient time to respond to my reasonable request above. If the election of the team was done on the basis of some sort of benchmark I just want to know the rationale that was followed. If I do not get a respond by the latest 16h00, 16 June 2010 I will resort to the next level and engage other avenues to ascertain the truth and the rationale behind the election. Reguest lodge in good faith.

nsokolo skweyiya
nsokolo skweyiya

My question is how fare is sascoc with the suspension of ASA BOARD and Three Employee? and also want understand that Caster Semenya is declare free to run and he Board was suspended base on Semenya saga therefore i'm thinking if she is free to run SASCOC Must withdrew charges against ASA BOARD. Respond pls.

Joe Ruiters
Joe Ruiters

Mr Ethridge...I am still waiting for an answer. Mr Stander whist me aside with standards to support the selection for the CAA regions...how come it is now difficult to provide some sort of reasoning or explanation.

Joe Ruiters
Joe Ruiters

Thanks Mr E. I appreciate that you do make work of this. I awaiting your response in anticipation.

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Joe. I've voiced these same concerns with Richard Stander and asked him if he can give us some sort of reasoning or explanation. Hopefully he'll get back to us ASAP

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Leon (see above). I got hold of SuperSports Communications Manager, Clinton van der Berg, who says that, as this stage, there are no scheduled plans to broadcast Youth Olympics coverage. I'll try and get hold of SABC as well. Watch this space

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Thanx Joe .. comment duly noted. I will try and find out more info from the concerned parties! .. thanx for your concern Mark.E

Joe Ruiters
Joe Ruiters

Mr Etheridge, I need to find closure on the issue of the selection of the southern region youth athletics team (the south african team). When I made an enquiry why no high jumpers were selected I have been told that world youth standards were used and when I further expressed my concern that the rest of the african regions are not using that benchmark and might be prejudice to a potential South African athlete if the same standard is not applied by the other african regions. I was then told by Mr Stander that there are athletes in the North African zone that jumps world youth standards...so I rest my case and waited for the results to come in...you be the judge havent we robbed a potential South African athlete of an opportunity here are the results for boys high jump of the other regions in our continent Africa: South Region: 2.06m & 2.03m Central Region: 1.90m & 1.85m North Region: 1.91m & 1.83m West Region: 1.85m & 1.79m East Region: 2.00m & 1.90m This is the performance of our boys at local competitions but not selected: 2.05m, 2.03m & 2.00m...Why were no South African boys not selected? I will rest my case if someone can provide me a decent explanation. As a parent of a hard-working athlete that gives his everything for the sport I need to look into the eyes and tell him why South Africa has failed him... Please respond

Joe Ruiters
Joe Ruiters

Mr Etheridge, I need to find closure on the issue of the selection of the southern region youth athletics team (the south african team). When I made an enquiry why no high jumpers were selected I have been told that world youth standards were used and when I further expressed my concern that the rest of the african regions are not using that benchmark and might be prejudice to a potential South African athlete if the same standard is not applied by the other african regions. I was then told by Mr Stander that there are athletes in the North African zone that jumps world youth standards...so I rest my case and waited for the results to come in...you be the judge havent we robbed a potential South African athlete of an opportunity here are the results for boys high jump of the other regions in our continent Africa: South Region: 2.06m & 2.03m Central Region: 1.90m & 1.85m North Region: 1.91m & 1.83m West Region: 1.85m & 1.79m This is the performance of our boys at local competitions but not selected: 2.05m, 2.03m & 2.00m...Why were no South African boys not selected? I will rest my case if someone can provide me a decent explanation. As a parent of a hard-working athlete that gives his everything for the sport I need to look into the eyes and tell him why South Africa has failed him... Please respond

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi there Leon, I'll make some inquiries and let you know as soon as I get any feedback. Mark Etheridge Managing Editor: Road to London, 2012

Leon
Leon

Any television coverage planned for the Youth Olympics? I've learnt from the Youth Olympic Games' official website that broadcast rights are free if coverage is resonable? Will we see our youth on TV representing their country?

athletics supporter
athletics supporter

Goeie More Hulle wil he die jeug moet goed doen in Singapore. Is enige van die potensiele atlete al gekontak en gevra of hulle enige hulp nodig het? Ek weet van top jeug atlete wat self tuis oefen met geen profesionele afrigters. Wat gaan van daardie kinders word indien hulle nie met raad bygestaan word nie. Ons vra nie geld nie - net belangstelling. Groete

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Tamio Thank you for your interest. I have forwarded your request to Gideon Sam. Kind regards Mark Etheridge Managing Editor Road to London, 2012

Tamio Izumi
Tamio Izumi

To who may concern, A request for interviewing President Gideon Sam staff writer, Tamio IZUMI Sports section, AKAHATA newspaper, Japan Sendagaya 4-26-7, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan phone +81-3-3355-0892 email: [email protected] I am a staff writer, Tamio IZUMI, in Sports section for AKAHATA newspaper, which is published daily by Japanese Communist Party. I am approaching through Mr. Takahiro ITO, the ex-chairperson of New Japan Sports Federation. I would like to interview President Gideon Sam, when I visit South Africa during the World Cup. Questions will be as follows. -What is the current situation and remaining issues in both professional sports and civil sports in South Africa? -What is the significance of holding World Cup in South Africa? -What kind of impact does World Cup have to the sports world in South Africa? I will be in South Africa during 8th-25th of June. The interview would take 30mins. I sure would like to meet President Gideon Sam, but if the schedule does not allow, I would like to meet Mr. Tubby Reddy, CEO's Chair. In addition, I would like to have an interview session with Ms. Natalie du Toit, an open water swimmer, during my visit. I appreciate if you could advise me where I should take a contact to. Your kind consideration of this matter would be sincerely appreciated. Sincerely, Tamio IZUMI