President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

It’s time for another short update of what’s happening at Olympic House.

As our former President, Mr Nelson Mandela, spends more time in hospital, sport in South Africa will be thinking back to the years of Madiba Magic and how to preserve it. Sport will be forever grateful to Madiba for the way he enthused about and encouraged sportsmen and women not just here in South Africa, but the world over.

The question now is how do we ensure that he lives on in the hearts of all sportspeople who have been touched by the great man.

Sport and Recreation South Africa has got the ball rolling and during this month both rugby and football will lock horns with selected opponents at the same venue and on the same day. On that day the nation will gather in one stadium to pay tribute to Madiba for his contribution to unity for all sportspeople.

This according to SRSA will become an annual event with more being added.  What better way to honour Madiba in the years to come?

Our athletes will taking on the world at  our next big project, our main project of the year, the World Games in Cali, Colombia.

This event, which also takes place every four years, will again test our athletes to the utmost.

There are many countries around the globe that know, due to various reasons, they cannot do well in the Olympic Games.

So they will see the World Games as their Olympics. The best in their countries get entered for these games so we are left with no choice but to send our best in order that they test themselves against their contemporaries.

Team South Africa leave our shores on 21 July with our best wishes and we know they’ll definitely bring back medals and be great ambassadors for our country. The codes involved are often those that would normally not feature highly in the South African sporting scene ÔÇô sports like aerosport, orienteering and tug-of-war but this is the time for them to give their sport some great publicity.

At the last World Games in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan we won three medals ÔÇô in waterskiing, sevens rugby and lifesaving. I’m hoping that we have made progress on all fronts since then and can bring back more than on that occasion.

On the field of play we continue to excel and it was a huge moment to see Daryl Impey don the yellow jersey in the Tour de France cycle race, the first South African to ever have this honour.

Andre Olivier continues to shine in the 800m with a string of fine performances in Europe and I was also very privileged to watch Smanga Khumalo become the first black jockey to win the prestigious Durban July horse race.

Further down the line but not that much further are the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. I must remind our various athletes that a year is a very short time in the broader scheme of things and  I urge them to work extremely hard in this regard.

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