President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

Just recently I had the opportunity to travel to the University of Stellenbosch to visit our star long-jumper Luvo Manyonga and his coach Mario Smit.

A number of overseas athletes were busy on the track and one could see that they meant business. One gets a good feeling when you see that our facilities are of such a high standard that athletes from across the globe come over to make use of them.

It got me thinking that we should work towards greater access to these facilities for our own athletes who are battling with below standard facilities.

The Sports Indaba held last year identified the challenge of sports infrastructure as one of the stumbling blocks for sports development in the country. But before we rush off and start building new facilities, let us make use of those that already exist optimally.

Back to Luvo and coach Mario. It is a great combination and the programme leading to leading London is clear. Mario is like a father to Luvo doing things that you would expect the athlete to take care of, but Luvo and his circumstances need a fatherly figure and Mario plays that role well.

This talented athlete needs somebody to hold his hand so that he can concentrate on what he does best. Going forward, Mario will get a helping hand from the university sports institute in dealing with the demands being made on Luvo. He has enormous talent and it should be nurtured by all who care for the well- being of all our athletes.

The process to determine what a sports high performance system should entail in South Africa kicked off this week with a round table discussion at SASCOC. More about this next time.

Next week we will be 200 days away from the start of the Paralympic Games in London and to mark the occasion, a function will be held in Simon’s Town by the
British High Commission. Watch this space to hear how battle ready our Paralympic athletes are.

One Comment

  1. Bernadine Philpott

    February 8, 2012 at 9:18 am

    HI Gideon
    I am so pleased that you are still involved in promoting Sport across all communities in South Africa and look forward to watching the SA team at the Olympics

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