President's Voice – Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice – Gideon Sam

As we wind down another hectic year we are acutely aware of the strenous task that awaits us in 2016.
We are all very aware that it’s an Olympic year and we’re busy putting the finishing touches to all the work that commenced immediately after the London Olympics.
It hasn’t been easy because the harder we work, the harder the other countries seem to work. But our athletes in both the Olympic and Paralympic discipline performed admirably and we are sure that their hard work will bear fruit come Rio 2016.
I still believe 10 medals are do’able, but the ‘sober’ minds around me say, we should expect around seven. An improvement of only one medal compared to  London doesn’t really sit well with me, but time will tell.
It has been a hectic schedule for all involved at SASCOC. ANOCA held its General Congress in Mauritius and the issue of Africa’s performance at the forthcoming Olympics came up for discussion. The projections we made way back in 2013 of 50 medals for Africa now seems to be a pipe dream.
Countries were not so confident anymore but an amount of money has been set aside for National Olympic Committees to prepare their potential medalists.
Then, at the International Paralympic Committee General meeting in Mexico, the focus was on developing the members of the IPC to be ready to embrace the envisaged growth of the IPC.
It all very clear that  the IPC is preparing for a bigger Paralympic Games in Rio. Our participation as South Africa at the Paralympic Games in Rio holds much promise and I have no doubt that our team will put up some great performances to make the country proud again.
Looking around at SA’s performances around the globe it was great to see that the Proteas won the one-day and T20 series in India. They’re struggling a bit in the Test series now but lets hope they bounce back to win the third Test coming up shortly.
Our Under-23 footballers have it all to do up in Senegal after losing their opening match against the host nation and I’m sure the nation will be standing behind them as they take on Zambia in their second match. How good would it be to have the young men joining Banyana Banyana with Team SA in Rio.
Well done to Charl Schwartzel on winning a fourth Alfred Dunhill Championships at Leopard Creek… our golfers are looking good ahead of that code’s debut in Rio next year.
And also well done to Wayde van Niekerk and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio for winning the big prizes at the 2015 SA Sports Awards in Mangaung. It’s great to see winners coming from codes that often don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Finally I wish all in sport a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
A big thank you to all our partners and sponsors for the wonderful support in 2015 and a special mention of the Lotteries Commission that formed the backbone of our funding.

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