President's Voice – Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice – Gideon Sam

There is a buzz in the country now that the Commonwealth Wealth Games of 2022 in Durban seems a certainty with only the General Assembly in Auckland to endorse South Africa as a host later this year.
As with all these kinds of events, the hard work starts immediately when a country show its interest to host.
For us in South Africa it will be no different because all countries taking on the task of hosting a mega event go through the same process.
We have the benefit of having hosted more than one mega events before and lessons learned and mistakes made will be taken on board as the planning begins in all earnest.
All the eyes of the country will be on the legacy that these Games will leave behind.
My personal wish is that we will move away from spending too much money on infrastructure, but that we will rather engage the young people of this country in preparing them to gain useful skills for the running of the Games and that those skills will set them up to be entrepreneurs who will serve this country and its economic development well.
We have to be creative and bold about this because opportunities to host mega events are not easy to come by in a world where meaningful economic growth is becoming difficult.
Here we have an opportunity as a country to embrace the process of engaging our young people our best shot.
Meanwhile the ICC tournament Down Under will soon move into the knockout stages and the way our cricketers are batting and bowling must send cold shivers down the spines of many a team in the competition.
Here’s wishing them well in their quest to lift the crown this time around. In particular AB de Villiers has really stood out at this competition with some mighty memorable hitting.
And our sportsmen and women are plying their trade around the world as per normal. Commonwealth Games badminton player Jacob Maliekal won the Uganda International up north in Africa, and our top judoka are on a month-long training camp in that hot bed of judo, Japan.
And what great news it is that our young Amajimbos soccer team have managed to qualify for the U17 World Cup in Chile later this year. Well done youngsters!
And to end of with some very heartening news it’s good to hear that our 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning rower Lawrence Brittain looks to have fought back and overcome the scourge of cancer. Excellent news indeed and here’s to a great comeback as Rio 2016 beckons.