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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam
- Updated: February 24, 2012
We’re already almost into the third month of the year and I can report that the response from the athletes following our recent media conference in Johannesburg has been very encouraging.
We hosted a conference at Olympic House to update the nation on our preparations for the 2012 Olympics and I must say that the athletes believe it is time for them to go out there and perform. This is the best position to be in for a country so close to the Games. We are not dealing with complaints and unhappiness, but we are all focused on the task at hand.
The area of concern though is the state of our National Federations. We have to find a formula to resource our federations. A quick round-up of the some areas where sport is being played, left me wondering just where the next generation of athletes are going to come from. The few pockets of excellence out there tend to blind us the huge need out there for sport to be played by many more people.
I came across cricket being played at many venues and called the CEO, Mr Gerald Majola to congratulate him. It was all very well organised and that just goes to show when we have the resources we can take the sport to the people.
But what I saw in basketball and netball though was extremely disappointing. The obvious thing that stood out was that a lack of resources contributed to the poor organisation that I experienced at these two sports. Just as an example, at the basketball venue, the young girls were using ┬áthe bushes as dressing rooms. This is just not on!
Then when I was back in Gauteng, I had an opportunity to visit the Transnet boxing academy and saw the tremendous effort being put in by people who used to coach in the national Defence Force. Talking to them I realised they have a lot to offer the sport they love. We have to assist the Sports Minister to unearth these individuals to assist us in the developing of our sport.