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SASCOC laud successful AGM

By Gareth Duncanin Johannesburg

Olympic governing body SASCOC held a positive annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Sunday.

The meeting, which included SASCOCs executive board and 75 national sporting federations and provincial councils, had a strong focus on Team South Africas impressive return from the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the preparations ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

SASCOC, along with the praise from the sporting federations and councils, celebrated the nations six medal haul and debated and spoke about the necessary steps that need to be taken to build on these achievements over the next four years. Wishes were also passed on to the South African Paralympic team, who leave for London this week.

SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy was delighted by this response.

The meeting was very positive. There was a strong sense of unity among the different federations and councils, and we do appreciate their input, says Tubby. These are good initial signs as we look ahead to 2016.

The Department of Sports and Recreation, who has grown a close relationship with SASCOC in recent years, also lauded Team South Africas effort. Deputy minister Gert Oosthuizen spoke on behalf of minister Fikile Mbalula, who was absent due to a family grievance.

Team SA performed at a 100%, says Oosthuizen. We are not only proud of the medal winners. All our athletes put South Africa on the global map as we competed against the best nations in the world.

When drawing an analysis of performance from our run in London, we can start preparing for Brazil. We need to invest into the youth at all levels to ensure there is a bright future. We need to focus on a proper school programme and place focus on our tertiary institutions.

We need to draw up an eight-year plan and pass this on to our president Jacob Zuma, so we can gain more support from the government and show them our goal for the road ahead.

Oosthuizen also congratulated SASCOC for their input into the handling of the CSA board matters this year and their role played in backing women in sport.

There were other matters brought up, including the selection policy, national and provincial academy systems and national and international coaching conferences.

Reddy stressed that the official selection policy will be relooked at and updated, and it would be communicated to all federations and councils. He also added, however, that SASCOC will continue to pick athletes who are medal contenders and well prepared to compete at international tournaments.

SASCOC president Gideon Sam expressed his excitement on the coaching framework, which was launched last year. These structures, which is set to improve the standards of coaching of all sports and in every domain, has been established in eight of the nine provinces and at most of the sporting federations.

This goes hand in hand with the upcoming National Coaching Conference, which will run from 16-18 November. SASCOC was also proud to announce that it will host an international coaching conference in September 2013.

We need to work together and help execute this coaching framework successfully, says Sam. Ive spoken to international coaching administrators, who believe the structures we are establishing are some of the best in the world.

Thats why we will be hosting the international coaching conference, which is a huge compliment.

It was also confirmed that Squash SA, SA Equestrian Association and the SA Fitness Organisation were reinstated, and Basketball SA, Powerboat SA, SA Softball Masters Association and SA Amateur Boxing Organisation all went into administration.

SASCOC was also thanked by most of the federations for the contributions and funding, and pledged their support to the plans for the Rio Games.

Meanwhile, SASCOC revealed its commendable audited annual financial statements during the annual general meeting. The bodys financial period ended on 31 March this year.

The report revealed a total surplus of R16.9 million, which is more than R10 million generated in 2011. There were also an increase in contributions to the Team SA Olympic funding (from R20.1 million to R39 million).

However, Reddy urged for the government and private companies to increase their contributions and for others to jump on board to and help sponsor South Africas athletes.

We need to hit a target of R1 billion in funding if we want to be very successful in Rio, says Reddy. If we dont get more sponsors on board, our Olympic campaign in 2016 will be a disaster.

Im sure the success in London will encourage more people to invest into our athletes. As a nation, we cant stop now. We need to keep the momentum going for the next four years, so we can help prepare Team South Africa for greater success in Brazil.