President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

The recent Coaches’ Conference in Boksburg turned out to be one of our best attended conferences and the message is loud and clear: Coaches want to belong.

The various provinces had huge delegations and at one point we thought the massive venue would actually be too small!

The breakaway sessions were all fully subscribed and the speakers all were happy with the interactions that followed their inputs. I am convinced that the International Coaches’ Conference set for Durban next year in September will be oversubscribed too.

The team at SASCOC did a fantastic job and the delegates acknowledged it. Provincial coaches’ conferences will now follow as we prepared for the registration of all coaches in the country. These are exciting times and this comes about because we realised early in 2009 that we have coaches in the country, but we do not have a structure servicing them.

This is now something of the past and coaches can now start talking to each other on the platforms that we will create at SASCOC.

This weekend’s elective SASCOC council meeting will elect the new leaders for the new ┬áterm of office for the next four years. ┬áLooking back on the past four years I can truly say that a lot was done, but there remains still more to be done.

We planned for London, went to London, did our best, but we are capable of more great performances. We learned many lessons and some of these will help us as we plan the campaign to Rio.

Many athletes were unhappy with the stringent criteria set to make it in the Olympic team, but if quality is what we are after, then we must “vasbyt” and make the criteria. To go back now and lower the criteria will make a mockery of what we want to achieve on those world stages where performance counts and nothing else.

All we need to do is to harness the resources that we have in the country and we will improve on London in Rio. To do this we need to ensure that we cut down on conferences and workshops and be seen more on the doing side of things in sport. We must encourage leagues from local to district level and from there to regional and provincial level.

It is in these leagues that we will see the talent. With the launch of the SA Sports Academies Strategic Framework and Policy Guidelines, we are now in a position to cater for the talent once spotted. The Science and Technology inputs must happen at provincial level and this will show the talent that we can unearth in some of the remotest part of our country.

We call on all sports loving citizens to come forward now and be part of this movement to make South African sport the power that it can be in world sport.

On the sporting front it was great to see Olympian Caster Semenya being named Gsport Athlete of the Year just recently and another Olympian, Kate Roberts won the African Cup in triathlon. Darian Townsend did very well at the recent FINA Cup swimming competition as well, so our international talent is certainly standing up and being counted.

Finally I’m appealing to all our National Federations to come forward, at the quadrennial meeting, make your voices heard and elect leaders that will take us into the next eight to 12 years.