President's Voice – Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice – Gideon Sam

In sport we are privileged (sometimes cursed!) to go through the full range of emotions in one week.
The thrills of seeing our triathletes deliver good performances in New Zealand and Portugal helped us to take the great disappointment of our men in the ICC World Cup in our strides.
In the final analysis that is what it is all about in sport – win and lose.  What is of importance is that we should rise every time we fall.
Our cricket team played their hearts out and on that day, any of the two teams could have won. Congratulations to the New Zealand team.
We recently met in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda to discuss matters that affect the development of African sport. Sitting in those sessions it was interesting to note how countries in Africa have similar challenges.
The greatest threat for all sport on the continent is the lack of interest of young people in sport.
Thinking about this I was reminded by an article I once read where the writer was arguing that we as sport administrators must guard against taking our clients for granted.
There is so much going on in the lives of young people that they are literally spoilt for choice. If sport cannot come up with attractive programmes then we must accept that young people will go elsewhere for entertainment.
It is something to think about seriously if we want young people to support our programmes.
It’s strange how we continue to debate the issue of transformation especially when there are big sporting events taking place around us.
The Eminent Persons Group instituted by Minister Fikile Mbalula continues to engage National Federations on this matter and maybe we should study their reports more carefully to get a sense of what is happening in South African sport.
Meanwhile it was disappointing to see our favoured Amajita soccer lads losing out in Sudan but good to see our Banyana Banyana footballers winning their match against Botswana and our athletes are starting to flex their muscles. Lebogang Shange is taking the walking world by storm and Akani Simbine, a youngster who first raised eyebrows at the 2012 Region 5 Games is getting closer and closer to the 10-sec barrier.

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