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Stringent selection criteria for 2019 African Games

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) will apply a stringent selection criteria for the team that will represent South Africa at the 2019 African Games in Morocco, with more preference being given to sports codes that use these games as an Olympic Games qualifier.

SASCOC President Mr Gideon Sam stated this in his keynote address at the national sports umbrella body’s General Meeting at Olympic House, Johannesburg on Saturday, with close to 67 National Federations and Provincial Sports Confederations in attendance.

“African Games are around the corner, it will be impossible to send a team of 300 people as per the norm due to financial challenges the organisation is facing. SASCOC is therefore looking at best ways to represent the country in Morocco which will mostly support athletes’ qualification for Olympic Games.

Mr Sam gave an update on the state of affairs at SASCOC. He indicated that we are on track with implementation of the Ministerial Report recommendations.

“The organisational restructuring process has commenced. Whilst we are trying to populate the new structure, the organisation will implement this on a phased basis, taking into cognisance the organisational financial constraints and the need to keep moving forward in delivering on our basic mandate. Currently we cannot afford to employ a new CEO and CFO.

Mr Sam urged the sports movement to find a way to reorganise themselves and do things right. The main issue bedeviling us as a movement outside of governance is the issue of structure of SA sport. The people from outside run your organisations and that is dangerous. To this effect, a committee was put together to agree on a proposed structure of South African sport.

 Mr Sam was pleased to inform the delegates that the SASCOC Financial books are ready to go to audit way in advance regardless of the various challenges the organisation faced.

With Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games around the corner, Mr Sam implored for financial support for Opex athletes to fully prepare for these Games especially during this year, which is a build up, and qualification year for most of our athletes. He highlighted the fact that Olympic Games are getting tougher each cycle and judging from the history of South African team sizes that participated at Olympic Games previously, SASCOC will carry a lean but strong team in the hope of achieving more medals.

In her keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Ms Nocawe Mafu underscored the importance of youth within the sports movement. “As we celebrate the Youth Month, let us think of how we are serving our youth in sport. Our young people are the main item on the agenda when it comes to sport but it appears like they are excluded.”

Ms Mafu called upon everyone to hear the plea of our youth and allow them to be involved in sports administration including taking seats in the Board of SASCOC.

Moving to disputes and infighting, Ms Mafu discouraged NFs from always being involved in disputes as this is shifting their focus and purpose. “These fights are destroying sport and confidence, a premium ingredient that make our corporates avail sponsorships to our athletes. The country is already asking hard questions and as political leaders, we will robustly be engaging you in the issue of performances of the National Teams,” she added.

Delegates were urged to take the issue of transformation in sport seriously and not as an option but a must to remain resolute, and the task should be fulfilled with speed. Ms Mafu stated that the government will not relent, it’s a fight they are prepared to pay the highest price for until our national teams represent the national demographics equally.

In conclusion, the Deputy Minister also took note and acknowledged the work that both SASCOC and the Facilitator, Mr Mthobi Tyamzashe are doing regards to the Ministerial Report and they envisage that the malpractices that were reported on SASCOC will all be fixed expeditiously.

On behalf of the sports movement, we wish our golden girls-Banyana Banyana all the best in their first match against Spain this evening at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

 

 


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