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

The annual Cricket South Africa awards were held this week and hats off to the organisers of the event.

It  was a slick and most enjoyable occasion and the guests were full of praise at the end of the evening. Congratulations to all the award winners and a special mention for Hashim Amla who was once again came up tops. The Cricket South Africa President and the CEO deserve our accolades for an event well run.

The 9th ICCE Global Coach Conference is busy drawing to a close as I write this and the lessons learned at this conference once again underlined the need for South African sport to note that the world is moving fast and if we do not up our pace, we will be left out in the cold.

As host nation for the conference which is a bi-annual event, we once again showed how good we are in hosting major events. The delegates were impressed with all the arrangements at the venue and the sessions were all conducted in a manner that will definitely enhance ICCE as a body for coaches throughout the world. Thanks to a well organised and disciplined team under the SASCOC management.

We have the Coach Education Framework up and running now. The ECCE has given us guidance and we now need to speed up the pace of implementation. Our nine provinces were well represented at the conference and the tertiary institutions came out in huge numbers. What needs to happen now is to ensure that the process of giving effect to all the theory is now translated into real work on the ground.

The idea is to work towards having all our coaches belong to a Coaches Body that will have a legal status by 2016. A massive task, but it can be done if we all pull into the same direction.

South Africa is also expected to assist in establishing the Africa Coach Education Council.  We will approach our counterparts on the continent and work towards making this ICCE dream a reality.

Away from the boardroom and back to the playing field and wasn’t it great to see our Paralympian wheelchair tennis ace Lucas Sithole getting such notice in the media (both internationally and at home). Lucas was part of the Paralympic team in London last year and he has since gone on to win the US Open. I have little doubt that this win will give him a huge boost and lets hope he can go on to win many more big tournaments.

The track and field season has also wound up now and it was great to see South African athletes putting their hand up in Italy last week. Caster Semenya, who seems to flit in and out of the sporting spotlight, left it till late in the season before winning her event in Rieti, Italy with a fine time of 1min58sec. Now the country needs to see her doing this on a more regular basis.  Breaking records on a regular basis though is Johan Cronje.

This season he broke the SA 1500m record in Qatar, went on to be the only SA medal-winner at the World Championships and then wrapped up his season with yet another SA record at the same meeting as Caster.

At 31, he’s not exactly a youngster but his achievements in 2013 have shown that age need not necessarily be a hindrance and he deserves every bit of applause for grit and determination as he holds down a day job apart from his training regime and also recently had the added responsibility of parenthood.

And lets also not forget Greg Minnaar who won the men’s MTB downhill World Championships on home soil in Pietermaritzburg.

Lets be serious, South African sport may be bedevilled by many boardroom battles but success stories like these last three mentioned give me hope going forward.


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