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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

I arrived in Kuwait this week for some interesting commission meetings.

The Association of National Olympic Committees has convened various commissions to deal with aspects of the existence of the Association.

It seems to me these international bodies must justify their existence, hence the calling of these commissions to strategise around marketing; judicial;  international relations matters.

There is this search for meaning in international sporting bodies and it makes sense to me because sport has become such big business that if you do not keep up with the times, you will become irrelevant.  It is now clear that sporting bodies that cannot keep pace with the changes in sport will become extinct and new sport will come to take their places.

The first report of the Eminent Persons Group under the chairmanship of Dr Fikeni was handed over to Minister Mbalula at Olympic House last week. What struck me in the report on five National Federations is that things still have some way to go to satisfy the transformation agenda of sport in the country.

Though the Minister issued a strong warning to Federations dragging feet on transforming their sport one got the feeling that though we have been talking for years about why sport should be transfomed in South Africa, the message is still hanging in the air.

I may be wrong in holding this view but the report does mot make good reading.  Let me concede that these five federations may not have been fully aware of what was expected from them.

We will see how the next 11 federations to be scrutinised will shape up. Maybe then one can pass proper judgment on what federations are doing about transforming SA sport.

There should be interesting debates at the General Council Meeting of SASCOC on 5 April around the same issue development and transformation in SA sport.

I’ve also been keeping an eye on both our men’s and women’s T20 campaigns in Bangladesh and I’m sure I wasn’t the only fan on the edge of my chair at our narrow men’s win against the Netherlands.

It’s also good to see plans coming together for the African Youth Games in Botswana and further down the road the Youth Olympic Games in China. I don’t need to emphasise how good performances at those events will catapult them into the senior ranks effortlessly┬á.


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