President's Voice – Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice – Gideon Sam

So, at last the inbound visits are over and now we have to get ready for the final presentation in Auckland on the occasion of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation.
The Coordination team has written the report on what they have seen and heard in Durban. South Africa will be given the go ahead to play host for the 2022 Games in Durban.
The South African delegation led by Mr Mark Alexander will be a high profile delegation including Minister Fikile  Mbalula and Executive Mayor, Councillor James Nxumalo, from Ethekweni Metro. It may be a formality to get the go ahead,  but South Africa is taking the presentation in Auckland very seriously.
There will jubilation when the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation signs the contract with the South African leadership, but all will realise at that point that the hard work has begun in earnest.
Future updates will track this long and arduous road culminating on the 18th July 2022. So watch this space!
The African Cycling Federation (CAC), recently met in Pietermaritzburg to consider reports on development on the continent. It was encouraging to see the number of countries represented, clearly showing that the sport  has huge support on the continent.
The International President of UCI, Mr Brian Cookson, was there in person and justifiably impressed with what he saw. The continental President was full of praise for Mr William Newman, our national president.
I have always impressed upon presidents in South Africa to take up their rightful places in these continental and international bodies and represent the country with pride.
The Presidents of the Provincial Sports Confederations also met in Port Elizabeth recently. The message that came out very strongly at the meeting is that we must build stronger sports structures at lower levels. It was a sentiment shared by MEC Pemmy Majodina who spent time with the presidents.  Dr Danny Jordaan also shared some insights with the presidents into the Fifa controversy.
It is quite clear that all of us will have to raise the bar to deliver sport to our people.
But all the while our top sportsmen and women continue to  make us proud to be part of the South African sporting set-up.
What a fairytale Tour de France for Africa’s first team at the event, MTN-Qhubeka. The South African based outfit’s success should do wonders for keeping interest going in this code and giving youngsters the opportunity to reach for their dreams.
Our small swimming team did well to finish 11th on the medals table at the FINA World Championships in Russia with two gold and three silver medals. Our track and field athletes are getting ready for their World Championships which start in China this week and recent results would seem to indicate that this could be one of SA’s best ever world championships.
Our netballers are also on the upward curve with the international input of coach Norma Plummer certainly starting to rub off. They ended fifth in the World Champs in Sydney and the signs are there that they are getting more and more accomplished against this code’s big guns.
Also great to see was Louis Oosthuizen’s runner-up spot at the British Open and Branden Grace’s third spot at the US PGA Championships. This is excellent news as golf returns to the Olympics next year and this code is looking very solid.