President’s Voice – Gideon Sam
August 15th, 2012 | Published in President's Voice
It was an absolutely fantastic reception at OR Tambo International that even had our Olympic athletes gobsmacked.
South Africa came out to welcome the team that went out to well and truly bury the ghost of Beijing 2008. Now we can move on and do what we do best and that is to perform at the highest levels of sport.
The next assignment for a senior South African team will be the World Games next year in Cali, Colombia. Team SA will go out there to improve on the performances of Taiwan.
There is no doubting the British when it comes to organising. The scene was set so well and all we had to do was to perform.
The team did well and the great start made by the swimming team was absolutely inspirational. What followed the great swims by Cameron and Chad rubbed off on those who followed – with more medals for team SA. The lesson learned by all is that it is important to prepare well for any sort of Games.
We must now continue to make winning a habit and the only way to do so is to avoid sending unprepared teams to important sporting events. No SA team must go out to make up numbers because that it is not who we are. We are a competitive nation and good performances tend to unite this nation and that is what sport must do.
We must be a uniting force and help SA to become a strong nation that do things together because we believe we can.
We now know what it takes to prepare a team well. It takes time; it takes personnel and it takes resources. A combination of these three things will stand us in good stead for the next Games in Rio in 2016.
There is therefore no time to waste but to buckle down and build on what we have done well in the past and to improve in other areas of our work. I believe we have it within our power to do well in the future and all we have to do, is to harness all our forces and do a good job.
At our AGM this weekend we can start giving pointers to all our Federations in terms of what will be expected from all of them as we move forward. They will also be given an opportunity to provide input on what they believe what we can do better as a collective.
I look forward to the next quadrennial because it promises to be very exciting. But before we get started on the next four tears, we still have to go back to London to collect more medals from the Paralympic Games.
Our Team SA can’t wait for the Games to begin because our team of experience and exciting youth will certainly deliver as they have done over the years.
The only question we can ask is how big a medal haul they will achieve in London? Good luck to the team, we know they will make SA proud.