CEO’s Chair – Tubby Reddy
It’s been a while since my last update but it being an Olympic year there’s an awful lot on both my and SASCOC’s plate.
In the last few weeks we’ve showcased the stunning new range of Olympic and Paralympic kit presented to us by our new clothing sponsors, ERKE, announced Chukuru as the official Team SA mascot, welcomed South African Airways aboard as an official sponsor and also celebrated 100 days to go to the Games in London.
I’m happy to see that Chukuru the mascot has been a busy creature and has been spotted in attendance at many a sporting function in recent times.
This past weekend we had another very successful Presidents’ Council meeting in Johannesburg during which many positive steps were made going forward on the sporting road.
We were happy to have, among others, Professor Vincent Maphai address us on the impact that proposed advertising restrictions in the liquor industry would have an affect the sports industry. Vee Moodley from Phumelela racing made us aware of how to place the opportunity of betting terminals in sports clubs around the country could raise funds for both the sporting codes as well as for the governing bodies.
We were privileged to have the Honourable Minister of Sport Mr Fikile Mbalula talk to us on the second and final day of the Presidents’ Council and it’s extremely heartening to see that we as SASCOC and Sport and Recreation SA are talking from the same page. It’s absolutely essential that we punt the same vigorous path forward to transformation and development of sport in SA in order to unlock the true sporting potential of our nation.
Speaking of government, one of my recent trips saw SASCOC President Gideon Sam and myself attend the XVIII General Assembly of ANOC (that’s Association of National Olympic Committees) and the second World Olympic Sport Convention in Moscow. Honorable Minister Mbalula also attended the World Olympic Sport Convention in Moscow, an initiative to forge a closer working relationship with Sport and Government. It’s very clear that the significant concerns facing global sport are issues which affect the work of NOCs and the development of the Olympic Movement. The role of Governments in debating and resolving these issues is paramount.
Certainly without strong, effective relationships the Olympic Movement cannot work as a force for good to serve global and national sport.
Meanwhile our delivery of Team South Africa for the Olympics and Paralympics continues at pace. Logistically it gets more and more challenging but it’s very exciting to see more and more of our sportsmen and women qualifying for the Games. In particular I must congratulate Gregg Clark’s mens’ hockey side for responding so positively to our qualification criteria. They proved more than equal to the task by winning in Japan and can feel proud to be part of Team SA in London. With the women already having qualified it looks like hockey will make up the bulk of the team to travel to London for the Games.
Hockey was also in the news for the wrong reasons lately and here I’m speaking of Bokkie Week in the North West where a young girl was turned away on the basis of her skin colour. This is totally unacceptable and goes against the grain of everything we’re working towards at SASCOC. At the Presidents’ Council we came out very strongly against this practice as did South African Hockey Association president Mr Dave Carr.
On another sad note we had to mourn three of our sporting family in the space of a day or two earlier this month and our condolences go to the family and friends of Juan van Heerden (cycling), Sibusiso Duma (polo) and Zolani Ntongana (athletics).
Hopefully my next update will bear positive news only.
Our next important date is Monday, 21 May where we will host a 100-days-to-go function in Cape Town for our Paralympic fraternity. It seems just the other day that we were in Simon’s Town harbour celebrating 200 days to go. As I say.. time flies in an Olympic/Paralympic year!