In the President's corner -- Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

In the President’s corner — Gideon Sam

Since my last update I’ve been getting around and about the country, as is always the case in this position and just recently I’ve had the opportunity to be part of a whole range of sporting events and activities.

Among them have been the national squash championships at The Wanderers, here in Johannesburg — at least this is a venue just around the coner from Olympic House.

Then I’ve attended a farewell to our angling team who went off to compete in Hawaii. Staying with a water-based theme, I’ve been to powerboating on the Vaal River as well as the powerboating guys’ annual general meeting and then also to Swimming SA’s annual general meeting. I must say that the swimming was an event run very professionally — an excellent report — and this what we’re looking for when we go to events.

I’ve also been to the national netball championships in Potchefstroom, the historic rugby Test between South Africa and the All Blacks at Soccer City and the annual cricket awards.

I always say it’s critical that we get closer to the federations and their activities. I sometimes feel a little like an anthropologist, just observing all these events. I get so many invites from various quarters and I really appreciate the interest shown, although I obviously can’t honour each and every one of them.

My longest trip away from SA was to Singapore for the inaugural Youth Olympics. It was a real eye-opener because we get a sense of where we are, measured against the rest of the world in terms of our youth and development. And I have to say there’s still a long way to go. Eleven medals was great for a start but there are areas where we’ll have to improve tremendously. We’ll be speeding up our Operation Excellence for the youth which will take them through to 2020.

But we’ll look at that as soon as we’re done with Commonwealth Games in October. As I said in a recent media conference, there are some federations who must come to the party in a big way. At senior level we may be left behind but it’s vital that we keep pace with the world at junior and youth level.

On the issue of sport and the environment, this will be something we take up strongly and most of the federations will be sensitive to these issues. At our council meeting on 4 September we’ll propose a commission to drive this issue. We already have a commission at IOC level that works closely with the United Nations and I serve on this commission. Already the guys from cue sports have taken on an initiative of cleaning up rivers in the Vaal area and the motorsports guys also have plans. We’ll also soon be running awareness campaigns in this regard.

Other than that it’s just been meetings upon meetings but it always cheers me up when I get news of our guys doing well around the world and one guy that stuck out for me just recently was this 16-year-old guy from Hammanskraal, Tshepo Modikwe who won five medals and finished second overall in a major international rollerskating competition in Padova, Italy. It’s exciting and uplifting things like that this that make all the hard work more worthwhile.


  1. wp women athlete

    September 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    ag gideon u only think of ur self and i dont c any improvement form u u have destroyed athletes life and their carreer and wat next on ur mind

  2. Upbeat Sports Fan

    September 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Well Done Gideon. Not sure how you get around to so many of these events. But we ALL notice the differences for the better on the ground. However, there are some of us that will never see the changes, and blame their medocrity on someone else. If we are to become world beaters then we have to set new standards and raise our performance levels to achieve new heights. good luck and you have the support of most of use.

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