President's Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

The  sport activities in this youth month of June, give us a fair barometer of what is going on at grassroots level.

I will continue to repeat that children on the ground are ready to be engaged in sport. ┬áImagine over 300 young hockey enthusiasts gathering on 16 June in just one area playing what they like most ÔÇô hockey.

Gathered in different part of the country were young people wanting to play sport. Question: Why is this not happening all the time? Junior sport must receive more attention in all our provinces.

The debate about whether it should be the Department of Basic Education leading the process or the National Federations, must now come to an end.

We want the young people of this country to play sport all the time and not only during the month of June when suddenly we have programmes running that disappear before the end of that day, 16 June.

Our boxing Federation, SANABO, played host to the African Boxing Championship held in East London recently. SANABO pulled out all the stops to present the championships at the highest level.

The cooperation between SANABO and the Provincial Department of Sport ensured the success of the championships.

It is my belief that the running of sport in this country depends largely on good relationships being struck by stakeholders within the province. Our team at these Championships did us proud, but it is clear that the  strength of amateur boxing has shifted to the north. Boxers from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia were outstanding.  The challenge for us in the south is to have more competitions amongst ourselves to raise the standard of our own boxing. Congratulations to all our medallists from these championships.

Meanwhile the Commonwealth Games are getting ever closer and our athletes are fine-tuning their training in the final run-in.

Our lawn bowlers were in action against a Western Province line-up at the weekend and they came up trumps. In Europe our athletes are using the training camp in Gemona, Italy to good effect and are swimmers are also getting in on the act.

I see that it was also the African Fencing Championships in Cairo, Egypt at the weekend and it was excellent to see Julianna Barrett won a silver medal, a true talent this young lady. Once again, just like in boxing, the continent’s northern countries are flexing their muscles in this code!

It was heartbreaking to see our Junior Bok rugby side being pipped by one point against England in the IRB World Cup final in New Zealand but at least the national senior side managed to beat Wales the next day, albeit also also by one point!

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