President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

This latest update comes to you from a rather cold and wet Glasgow, Scotland where the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation is being hosted.

About 71 Commonwealth countries are gathered here and we spent two days in conference on sport and the youth and various speakers provided for some excellent input.

We have also visited the facilities where our own Team SA athletes will show off their prowess next year. It is a real relief to see that the facilities are 90% in place and the Athletes’ Village is already receiving the finishing touches. In January next year the Chef de Missions will gather here to look into the final preparations before the athletes arrive here.

One  has to congratulate the Glasgow organising committee for this because it allows the countries to do their thorough planning well in advance. The athletes are highly professional these days and quite rightly expect the preparations and organisation of such events to be professional too.

Without wishing to be in any way alarmist, I guess the events of the past few weeks, swimming’s world championships and IPC championships, athletics (world and IPC champs), rowing, the World Games etc have given us much to think about.

For starters one must look at the these outcomes in the context of our preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

We certainly have reasons to be concerned because we seem to be slow out of the blocks when it comes to a state of readiness for the High Performance activities.

But we can take comfort though, that together with the Free State Province, SANDF and the Free State University and business, we have launched the National Training Centre in Bloemfontein.

There seems to be confusion about this Centre but we have been explaining that what we have in Bloemfontein does not replace the activities that we already have at all our academies and high performance centres in the country.

This facility will merely help coaches and teams with accommodation, testing, infrastructure and other services that they may require in the period they want to spent at the centre. We hope the centre will make a huge contribution towards assisting our athletes prepare well for all competitions, be they domestic, continental and international.

Our plans to conclude with Italy for an exchange programme and use of a training base in Gemona, can now be ticked off.

We should take our first group of athletes over to Gemona by latest October. More good news is that the Georgian ambassador has facilitated that four sports; Judo; Wrestling; Boxing and Weightlifting submit their training plans to their counterparts in Georgia to enable an exchange programme.

Similar efforts will be made to get Chinese Taipei to agree to an arrangements that will allow us to tap into their expertise. In all the above efforts, the coaches must be central to all the planning. As SASCOC, we must facilitate that our coaches can perform their task of coaching without having to take too much stress.

Simphiwe Maphumulo
Simphiwe Maphumulo

Good evening Mr Sam. I am Simphiwe Maphumulo,the new Mind Sports SA president. I received your message of congratulations. Thanks for that message and yes,we will work hand in hand to ensure a bright future. I have included my email address should you wish to contact me. Thanks