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

We’ve just concluded our first Board meeting at Olympic House and there were a number of issues put firmly on the table to guide us further down the Road to Rio 2016.

The Board was unanimous in its decision to focus on putting more resources into athletes with potential to represent South Africa in major international events. There was a broad in-principle agreement that we should identify the athletes with potential early on and work closely with their coaches as well as expose them to programmes that will help them to compete  consistently at a high level.

To this extent, we will be looking at local camps and competitions as well as overseas training camps and competitions.

The many issues raised by Board members will be taken to a SASCOC bosberaad where we will refine our plans for the quadrennial ending after the Games in Rio. We certainly took the lessons learned from the previous quadrennial to heart and with a possible increased and more focused staff in the offing, we should be in a position to raise the bar and take SASCOC to yet another level.

To achieve this, we have strengthened all our commissions to ensure that the work of the organisation is evenly spread to allow management to focus on the core issues of facilitating to build stronger teams to present at major competitions. It is hoped that we will again rope in all stakeholders to achieve this dream of getting more podium positions in Rio.

On the sporting field, the conclusion of the Africa Cup of Nations has once again showed that as a country we rank right up there with some of the best countries in hosting big events. We are growing in confidence and with the pool of people with knowledge and experience in hosting big events, the day is not that far off when we will be able to host some of the biggest events like the Commonwealth Games or even the Olympic Games.

We thank the many spectators who continue to support our events like the cricket (Proteas vs Pakistan; the Investec Challenge women’s hockey tournament in Cape Town, the Joburg Open golf here in Gauteng) and many more events presented here in South Africa.

We join in congratulating our cricket captain, Graham Smith and his team for the numerous records they are breaking in sport.

The performance of our cricket team will help the new leadership of cricket to settle down quicker to run the administrative affairs of cricket. As SASCOC we will continue to work hand in glove with our Federations to find solutions to challenging governance issues.

Our engagement with Athletics South Africa is also based on our desire to work with the Federation to resolve all outstanding matters that the current leadership have inherited from a previous era.

I’d also like to extend SASCOC’s well wishes to the nine young cricketers who were struck by lightning while putting the covers on to the pitch at KES school in Johannesburg this week. Here’s hoping they are soon back in action taking part in the sport that they love.


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