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SASCOC salutes heroes and heroines who have taken SA sport to new heights

Approximately 69 heroes and heroines received special awards at a gala dinner hosted by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) in Johannesburg on Monday, 5 May.The main purpose of this prestigious event was to celebrate the forgotten heroes and heroines who exhibited fighting spirit during the days of struggle in South Africa and how the sports movement has emerged after re-acceptance into the international sports scene. In addition, the gala dinner also highlighted the significant role that sport played in uniting the nation during the struggle and in the 20 years of democracy since.

This was a moment for the sporting fraternity to salute and celebrate our late icon Tata Nelson Madiba Mandela for giving us the freedom and who once said: Sport has the power to change the world, to inspire, to unite people in a way that little else can.

Whilst the phrase no normal sport in an abnormal society was a common one in the struggle days, the country has since emerged as a fast developing, well performing and globally recognised nation, albeit still with major challenges of transformation.

During the gala dinner, the sporting conquerors all received a special gift a Nelson Mandela portrait from SASCOC, as a token of appreciation and acknowledgement of the hard work they undertook to take South Africansport to this level.

Says SASCOC President, Gideon Sam: After many years of contributing to sport, many activists have gone unnoticed. It is therefore appropriate that SASCOC pause and remember these stalwarts for their contribution over so many years. Many of them are no longer in sport and others have been called to higher service. As we celebrate 20 years of freedom, let us go back in time and remember what it took in sport to get us here.

“A night at a gala dinner may not seem enough but at SASCOC we believe it is a good gesture that can help us make a start to honour all those heroes and heroines who put in so much.”

Added SASCOC CEO, Tubby Reddy: The success story of South African sport will always owe a great deal to the tireless work of people both in the spotlight and also behind the scenes. If it were not for the passion and dogged determination by these men and women to level the playing fields of sport we would not be where we are today.”

Entertainment included song and dance and story-telling of where South African sport came from, and where it currently stands. Guests were also given an opportunity to view an exhibition that showcased the transition tonon-racial sports.


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