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Sam calls for unity

South African sport must speak with one voice at the inaugural National Sports Indaba to take place in Johannesburg in August.

“We must speak with a single voice when it comes to transformation, school sport and funding,” said SASCOC president Gideon Sam on Sunday.

The president of the country s Olympic sports governing body, Sam was speaking at the conclusion of SASCOC’s two-day Presidents Council meeting held in Johannesburg.

At the meeting, presidents of the National Federations came up with resolutions in those three key areas to present to the National Sports Indaba, the brainchild of Honorable Sports Minister Mr Fikile Mbalula in August 2011. Federations formed sub-committees and the resolutions that arose will be discussed ahead of the Annual General Meeting in North West late in August.

“After the various provincial sports indabas, which we envisage will be done with on July 16 we will meet again to make sure we have touched every part of South Africa on these subjects,” said Sam.

Also up for discussion was the area of selection with a policy being drafted for the period between 2013 and 2016.

“There are many issues which we’re dealing with and that process must go right through the provinces right down to grass-roots level,” said Sam. Funding is extremely important. I can’t emphasise enough that the talk is of survival. If Federations think the Lottery is their saviour I have bad news for them. We have to do it for ourselves now. Hopefully this Presidents Council will be the turning point in how sport looks at ourselves. Each and every federation has to be pro-active about surviving. The various sports must realise that amongst us we own our sport.

“Between now and the National Sports Indaba we will put together a plan which will enable all the sporting bodies to speak with one voice and more importantly speak from a position of strength when it comes to key areas.”

On the subject of transformation SASCOC board member Mubarak Mahomed said the policy document was the responsibility of the Sports Minister but it was SASCOCs responsibility to administer it and act as the custodians of the policy down through the nine geographic regions, the municipalities, local associations and clubs, more than 350 various organisations. The question of gender equity would also need to be addressed aggresively.

During the course of the meeting, where much robust debate took place, various presentations and discussions took place.

One of the presentations made was by CASAC (the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution). Presented by Dr Sipho Pityana and Lawson Naidoo. In this presentation Naidoo emphasised the importance of systems of governance (also in the sporting fraternity) and the ongoing fight against corruption.

“It’s estimated that 20% of the GDP is lost to corruption annually. A key step is the removing of the obvious opportunity for corruption and the need for transparency. Secrecy is the oxygen for corruption to flourish. Sports bodies have a very definite role in exposing corruption.

“CASAC will be launching our Red Card corruption campaign on June 26 and trust that the sporting movement will be right with us.”

On the issue of schools sport, the Director of School Sport, Ms Rohini Naidoo emphasised the importance that schools have to play in the advancement of sport. “School sports leagues must be established.

“We have 30,000 schools in South Africa and every child must get the chance to play sport from the age of five to instil a healthy life style. It must be developed by the National Federations and provincial federations and national school code committees. It has to be sustainable in the long-term and the programme must move along the sports development continuum from local through to national level.”

The Council was also addressed on the subject of demarkation and the SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy, highlighted the need for federations “to follow the demarcation as per the demarcation board in relation to delivery of the Transformation Agenda.”


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