President's Voice – Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice – Gideon Sam

The recent Executive Board meeting of the Commonwealth Games Federation discussed a range of issues that can have far reaching consequences for Commonweath Games Associations in future.
The matter of accountability for resources passed on to the CGA’s is now high up on the agenda of the CGF.
A committee chaired by Sandra Osborne is now looking at matters of ethics and integrity within the CGF.  I guess this follows all the revelations about how slack some International Federations are when it comes to governance issues.
There is no denying the fact that where we have a greater reliance on volunteers doing work in sport, there are bound to be the slip-ups from time to time. The very nature of sport now demands that we pay more attention to how we conduct ourselves in our dealings in sport.
The CGF has also come to realise that forming partnerships will go a long way at improving the way we deal with highly professional athletes. There exists a number of organisations within the Commonwealth Secretariat and by moving these organisations closer together in buildings close to each other in London, facilitates closer cooperation.
In my view we have too many organisations trying to do the same thing and in the process, what could have been an optimal use of resources go begging.  he debates at the forthcoming General Assembly of the CGF will seek that the CGA’s begin to look around to see which organisations can contribute towards the work that they are doing. We exist to serve the athletes and we should at all time try to focus on what is best for the athletes.
Meanwhile we still have athletes trying to qualify for Rio and we would like to encourage them and their coaches to do everything in their power to qualify.
The Africa Athletic Champions in Durban was such an opportunity for athletes to qualify and to improve on their times. Reports coming out of Durban show clearly that some of our athletes are ready for Rio (look no further than Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk as prime examples in this regard).
There are however worrying signs that some athletes are nursing niggling injuries and are therefore battling with qualifying criteria that will satisfy the Federations selecting them. We will watching this space carefully before the final team announcement for Rio.
Congratulations to national rugby coach Alistair Coetzee on a series win over Ireland. But our u20 team at the Junior World Cup got a serious wake-up call when they did not feature in the top three of the tournament.
And in cricket, our ODI team in the triangular in the Caribbean will be asking many questions about what could have gone wrong.
Also good to see was the fact that our ace doubles tennis player won yet another title and we also have four tennis players qualified for the Rio Paralympics.
Our Rio bound women’s footballers put up a very good account of themselves against a top Netherlands side and early next month they will truly see where they are in the pecking order when they test themselves against the top-raneked United States side.
Worrying is the fact that even more of the world’s top golfers have pulled out due to concerns over the Zika virus but our medical experts are constantly monitoring the situation in this matter and are also guided by the World Health Organisation.


Dear Gideon

Can SASCOC justify the costs of sending Banyana Banyana ranked 52nd in the world to Rio and waste so much money on the expenses incurred at Rio versus investing the money into the development of the sport amongst women in South Africa ;pcally? We all knew that the odds of failure were likely that based on their ranking that they were unlikely to succeed. 

SASCOC must be held accountable for this decision and the public deserve to know why the decision to send them to the games was made and what the costs were.