President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

We are already now starting to have an idea of how the qualifying process is going for next year’s Olympic Games in London.

To date we have seen successful qualifying achievements in the sports of women’s soccer as well as in the canoeing and rowing codes. We know that there will be still more opportunities to qualify and we will be watching these with great interest. Ideally we want to arrive at a point where we can say: This is how the Olympic and Paralympic teams are going to look like.

What follows then will be very important. The athletes will have to understand that they are at that point under starters’ orders and that the coaches and support staff will dictate most of the terms going forward to London.┬áThe High Performance department here at SASCOC is already in the process of re-doing and re-evaluating the programmes that were submitted at the beginning of the OPEX programme, way back in June 2009.

What is required now is to see how we can assist the athletes and coaches prepare with the minimum chances of picking up any injuries. To do that we need to monitor every athlete closely to ensure we know what he/she is doing all the time. The issue of income for these athletes will also be looked into to avoid a situation where they are always competing and taking risks of getting injured in the process.

We hope to inform the country at a media briefing towards the end of October exactly where we are and how we see the rest of the period leading up to the Games unfolding. SASCOC is looking at maximising opportunities of getting the South African public to know the athletes better this time around. We do not want to go out there with unknowns. The condition of the athlete at the point of departure for London will be known so that all of us can know what to expect in London.

Our transformation commission which also deals with issues of conflict within the federations has been quite busy over the past weekends. It is our fervent wish that all our federations will deal with issues of conflict in a more governance driven manner. We spend way too much time on these matters and the money spent to resolve these matters could have been so much better spent on development.

The last word is for our Springbok rugby team. So far so good. Let us finish what we have started so that we can have a special holiday in the country on their return. I can really do with some holiday time from outer space. Bring it back Bokke!!!

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