President's Voice – Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice – Gideon Sam

With every event where Team SA has a presence here at the Rio Olympics we learn lessons that will stand us in good stead for the future.
Take for instance the near misses in some events at the Commonwealth Games of 2014 in Glasgow and now recently in the Olympic Games in Rio – coming away from an event knowing that had the dice fallen our way, the outcome could have been so much different.
To have five boats in  the final in the rowing events in Rio and winning one these finals is itself a great achievement.
Analysts of our efforts in Rio will probably advise the various National Federations what to look out for next time.
The predictions made of how we would fare in Rio are now academic. How do we build from the achievements in Rio in preparation for the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast in Australia, then followed by Tokyo 2020 and then our very own showpiece, the Commonwealth Games in Durban 2022.
I think we should give the Federations an opportunity to think about how they see the road to Durban. At some point we then have to sit down and consider specific areas to look at. These are; the appointment of head coaches where this is possible.
Also, forging closer relations with academies where these exist and inviting universities with strong sport departments to provide  input in the planning and execution of Federations’ plans as we move forward towards 2022.
We have a lot of capacity in our country and where we are short of this, we must not be shy to import these skills.
Two areas will always be a challenge but we have to find a way of overcoming these. Those are development and funding and remain stumbling blocks for many Federations, but sometimes we just need to stop and think out of the box and see how different things can be.
The August SASCOC Council meeting will put on the table for discussion and debate the criteria to be used for selecting teams for the Commonwealth Games in Australia as well as the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Sport leaders and different communities close to sporting structures should participate in the coming debates on the criteria for selection. Once decided on, we have to prepare our teams accordingly.
Meanwhile the elections for the quadrennial ending in Tokyo are set for early November and we look forward to having people making themselves available to give guidance to other Federations on the Road to be Tokyo.
We look forward to your contributions and we know you want to see TeamSA competitive in all future Games.