President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

Two matters which I have dwelled on in the past worth are definitely repeating in this latest update.

They are: the carnage on our roads involving athletes and then the terrible waste in some of our areas across the country of infrastructure that stands empty that could be used by sport.

In April we lost eight players in a bus accident. The Zululand team for the Intellectually Impaired was returning from their cluster games in Richard’s Bay when their bus overturned on a hill in kwaCeza.

MEC for education in the province, Mr Mchunu, had some strong words to say about the safety of athletes during such trips.

Sascoc expressed condolences and was represented by the provincial sports confederation president, Mr Hlongwane, at the memorial service of these unfortunate athletes.

On to the second matter that has been occupying me lately. Doing the rounds in the Free State recently, I was once again saddened to see some solid buildings standing unoccupied in many areas.

These buildings could so easily been converted into indoor facilities for sports like judo, boxing, table tennis and many others.

We will definitely raise questions around these buildings when we meet with the leadership of district councils and metros in June in Bloemfontein. As sport we cannot be clamouring for infrastructure when it is there for the taking.

I recently attended the South African Confederation of Cue Sport championships at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg and credit should be given to some federations who quietly do their bit for transforming South African sport.

With limited funds the Confederation of Cue Sport is doing their bit. Mr Saths Reddy and his executive deserve support for what they are doing. Like so many other lesser known federations, they are overlooked by sponsors.

As for ongoing sports happenings, it’s great to see the Soweto Open tennis tournament getting some good coverage. It’s always encouraging to take sport to the people and good for tennis to showcase itself in such an enormous metropolis like Soweto.

I see our junior golfers are continuing their great form and have won the Africa Junior championships in Mauritius, which bodes well for the code, especially as golf is part of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Our team for World BMX Championships in New Zealand has been announced and on the other side of the world we have Team SA about to take part in the ISO World Games in Panama.

Jan Lombard
Jan Lombard

The Southern Regions Youth Championships is rumoured to take place on 31 May in Botswana. Up to this day athletes have only received letters to say that they have been provisionally selected. The event will take place in less than 3 weeks. When will the athletes get the final notification? According to an article on the IAAF's website South Africa has 25 youths in the world rankings. These so-called hopefuls have a good chance to bring back medals from the World Youth Championships that will take place in the Ukraine. The big question in everybody's minds is: Did ASA enter a team? If athletics is one of the sports that will be focussed on for the 2016 Rio Olympics, surely these two events are the opportunities to give these youngsters some exposure to International athletics. In 2016 these boys and girls will be in their prime. If we want them to perform for South Africa then, they must get the chance to do their things as youths now. I hope somebody will sort out ASA's problems in time! Perhaps SASCOC can intervene and enter teams for these two events!!!