President's voice - Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s voice – Gideon Sam

The annual gathering of International Federations (IFs) was recently held in Belek, a sea resort near Antalya in Turkey.

Its a gathering where sports business and cities, hoping to bid one day, meet. The discussions are varied but in the main it is the networking that is so important. People put forward their expertise and services to IFs who need strategy and bigger markets for their sport. It is fascinating to see how IFs go out of their way to catch the attention of the people at this gathering.

SASCOC has been attending the last three editions of this big gathering and we have been able to position ourselves in this forum as we have done with other fora. This time around we were able to engage the international leadership of body building and basketball on matters affecting our members. Our search at these meetings is to be on top of the discussions that go on at International level. It helps us when we have to deal with disputes in the boardrooms of our members.

We also get to know better the countries where we can send our athletes to for better training. We now have exchange programmes with Italy and Chinese Tapei as evidence of contacts made. We have also been able to understand the behind the scenes workings of organisations like Spord Accord.

We made contact with the leadership of Kazakhstan and the outcome of our meeting is that we will submit a proposal to them to send our best, in combat sports like boxing, taekwando, judo, wrestling and weightlifting to their training centre. In return they will come to our training centre in Bloemfontein when they are ready to come over. This is all part of finding partners to prepare well for Rio and beyond.

It’s good to see some nice qualifying times from the national swimming championships in Durban and apart from the expected qualifying names, we welcome a new face on the scene in the form of Tara Nicholas.

Around the world I see our water polo players doing well in the Commonwealth Champs in Aberdeen, Scotland and our bowlers are also in action Down Under.

And of course we are hosting another big event in cycling, the MTB World Cup, in Pietermaritzburg this weekend.

Lets not forget that we are now only 100 days away from this years Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Im confident that we are looking good for another excellent medals return but now its all about fine-tuning all the hard work since Delhi 2014 and also remembering to keep an eye on the ball on the next Olympics only two years away now.

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