President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC
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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

I’m extremely happy to say that the announcement of Team South Africa for the London Olympics went off without a glitch last Wednesday.

In the words of IOC Executive Board member Dr Sam Ramsamy, we presented to South Africa a team that will go out to London and win medals. That is what we said three and a half years ago and on Wednesday we merely confirmed what we said.

Every name that was called out will on any day make South Africa proud. Having said that there is still time for those who chasing qualifying times to get on to that plane for London with any additions to the squad coming on July 4.

The response to the announcement of the team was very encouraging because we did not have many queries about athletes who should have been in the team and were not named.

The setting of the criteria well in advance and the support systems built around the athletes contributed largely to athletes selecting themselves. There was no need for any controversies because the Federations understood what was expected and how they should prepare their athletes.

Going forward we just need to put the finer touches to our system of selecting athletes for these important events.

It is for this reason why we will make the criteria that we will follow for the  selection of the team for the 2016 Games in Rio, known to all in August this year. Athletes and their coaches will know well in advance how the selections will be done and will be encouraged to avoid a last minute scramble to qualify.

We wish all the selected athletes and teams good luck.

Looking to the future again and one of the mandates given to SASCOC as a result of the National Sports Indaba, is to establish a coaching framework nationally, provincially and in the districts. The process is now well underway with road shows being held in the provinces.

The team driving this process kicked off in the Eastern Cape where close to 90 coaches gathered in East London to discuss how the structures of the Eastern Cape will be put together. Under the guidance of Prof Pat Duffy, the coaches worked for two days to understand what is required from them according to the national coaches framework.

From the Eastern Cape the show came to Gauteng, where close to 100 coaches gathered at Coca Cola Park (Ellis Park) for a similar session. My observation following the road shows in the two provinces, is that the coaches are keen to belong to viable coaching structures so that they can improve their own coaching skills.

With the aim to have proper data bases of practising coaches, one can only hope that these coaches will indeed be given an opportunity to improve their coaching skills by attending courses that will be offered to assist them.

This last Friday another 300 plus coaches from the various federations gathered at Olympic House to discuss their own coaching protocols that they have been working on over the last 2 years.

The great push from our side at SASCOC is to ensure that the resolutions of the Sports Indaba are implemented.

One thing is for sure … we need coaches at school and club level to ensure that we have athletes for 2020 and beyond.


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