CEO’s Chair – Tubby Reddy
Finally, our four-year road to London 2012 has come and gone and we can sit back and perhaps take a breather.
I’ve just got back from Team South Africa’s exciting journey to the Olympics and Paralympics and what a roller coaster ride it has been.
By and large I think the nation can be extremely proud of our team’s performance at both versions of the Games which were superbly organised by the British and certainly set the benchmark for future Olympics.
I know people were harping on about the slogan of 12 medals in 2012 but the reality is that the standard of competition has improved astronomically since Beijing in 2008 and I’m talking about both the Olympics and the Paralympics.
Certainly we must be very happy to have won six medals at the Olympics after Beijing. I think our six medals are just reward for the extremely hard work that we as SASCOC, the National Federations, coaches and athletes have put in during this cycle.
Having said that, the expert opinion is that it takes eight years to truly mould an Olympic athlete or to see real progress and we’ve only had four years since Beijing. I have every confidence that after another four years of hard work we will see even more dividends being reaped.
Our Paralympic athletes also gave a great account of themselves by winning 29 medals, just one less medal than Beijing.
The difference was that we didn’t win as many golds, resulting in a lower place on the medals table. Once again that was an indication of how the world has caught up in terms of excellence. In Beijing we relied too much on Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit and Hylton Langenhoven.
London was Natalie’s last Paralympics and I must wish her all the best in her career away from the pool. She had a glittering Paralympic career and I have no doubt that whatever she turns her hand to in the post Paralympic era she will make a success of.
Meanwhile back home, you may think it’s all come to a grinding halt at Olympic House but you should know by now that there’s always something going on at SASCOC. We are currently busy with the preparation of the Team SA for Zone VI Games in Lusaka, Zambia later this year.
The Games are an important talent identification event for us at SASCOC and we may well unearth a few future Olympians in Lusaka.
Then there is the National Coaching Conference which will take place in November this year – that’s also an integral part in the continual striving to up our game in an ever more competitive sporting arena.
Don’t forget the QGM on 24 November when people will be jockeying for positions on the SASCOC Board.
Well, all I can say is that the SASCOC Board has been hugely successful under the leadership of Gideon Sam and wish all you guys and the other contenders the very best in the forthcoming elections.