President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

The recent SA Sports Awards were one big razzmatazz as Sports Minister Fikie Mbalula promised it would be. The resuscitation of these awards will serve as further incentives to our sportspeople to do well.

The exposure the nominees got and the ultimate announcement of the winners went a long way in focusing the attention of a sports-mad nation on the nominees and winners.

Many names are not household names but after these awards people will take note of these “other” important names in sport and the sport that they come from.

Congratulations to all the award winners and a special mention of the ultimate winner, Hashim Amla.

The latest status report on the South African Coaching Framework shows that we are on track for the big launch and conference in November 2011. After this launch the landscape for coaching in South Africa will change for the better. The framework will cover all aspects of coaching and will reach out to the furthest corners of the country.

We will end up having a register of all coaches and through our provincial sports councils and provincial sports academies, we will ensure that all the coaches get serviced through a national coaches commission. Discussions with the Minister will follow to ensure that the efforts to establish a viable coaches framework has got legislative underpinning.

The SASCOC AGM takes place in Rustenburg at the weekend and will be preceded by a workshop on the upcoming National Sports Indaba. The key areas for the sports movement will certainly be the issue of funding for sport. The Presidents’ Council in May raised very strongly the threat to sport development if the we do not pay attention to the funding model for sport.

At the Sports Indaba this matter will be tabled and federations must have concrete positions on this matter. The lotto funding is too erratic for federations to totally rely on it for their programmes.

Another matter that the federations will have to grapple with is long standing matter of infrastructure and how best federations can get alignment with the activities and plans of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). There is just too much frustration amongst federations about the inability of municipalities to provide infrastructure and the maintenance thereof. The workshop will be seeking solutions to such challenges and take to the National Indaba a strong position on how the municipalities should be assisted to deliver to the needs of sport. It will be an interesting workshop because the federations would have participated in the provincial indabas.

Meanwhile our OPEX athletes continue to participate in qualifying championships. The Fina world swimming championships have come and gone and Cameron van deer Burgh (2) and Gerhard Zandberg (1) won bronze medals. The world sprint canoe championships have just been held and there are encouraging signs there despite our competitors not qualifying directly for next year’s Olympics. Coming up are the world rowing championships as well as the world athletics championships and we’ll be following these events keenly as the countdown to the Games continues at pace.

And on the other side of the globe, all eyes will be on New Zealand to see which country will lift the Webb Ellis trophy at the Rugby World Cup starting next month. We are fully behind our Springboks and our recent win over the All Blacks in Nelson Mandela Bay gave us encouragement that our team will do well.

Good luck to Peter de Villiers and the team as well as all our sportsmen and women around the world.

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