Graeme Joffe

SA 'gravy train' Sports awards

2012-11-08 10:46
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
Dear Sports Ministry and SASCOC (all protocol observed)

Unfortunately - or fortunately - whichever way you look at, I was not invited to the SA Sports Awards but managed to sit through an hour of it on television. 

With a budget of R30-odd million – was that really the best you could do?

I’m still looking for more adjectives to describe the boring, embarrassing, cringe-worthy, amateur, uninspiring, political production that was a complete waste of money.     

Granted Mr Mbalula, I tuned in late (no pun intended), so I may have missed the best parts of the awards, but my first point of reference was yourself and your speech centred around how we must reward those that were not rewarded during apartheid.

Why do we keep having to try and correct the wrongs of the past? Can we not just move on and celebrate all the incredible athletes of all race and creed that South Africa has today? 

Moving on ...

MC: On stage now to hand out the next award, Miss South Africa, Melinda Bum – I guess you do also to have a good “backside” to be Miss SA.

Onto the nominees for federation of the year, “Swimming SA” – are you kidding me?

A federation that lost its main sponsor, a federation that doesn’t have enough money to pay for the swimmers to go to the FINA World Short Course Championships and a federation that is widely accused of mismanagement. The swimmers achieved in London despite the federation and I see that Swimming SA president, Jace Naidoo is standing for SASCOC election. OMG!

I’m surprised Swimming SA didn’t win the award but that went to the right winner in Rowing SA. What this code has achieved with limited funds is truly amazing and hats off to Wimpie du Plessis, Roger Barrow and the rest of that team. 

We are in “oar” of you!

So many of the nominations left me totally perplexed.

How does someone like Suzanne Ferreira, who had no fewer than nine medallists at the Paralympic Games not even get nominated for coach of the year in an Olympic year? And was winning the British Open not enough for Ernie Els to maybe get a nomination for either Sportsman or Sports Star of the year? 
 
Come on, who does the nominations and who really does the voting?
  
Even some of the award winners??? Would love to have seen the criteria and the judges' score cards.
  
Other tidbits that caught my attention:

1) SASCOC officials who can barely open an envelope and how good they are at building up a climax before announcing the winner. “Guess who” – must be taught in their team building sessions at Toastmasters. (An overseas Toastmasters, a package that includes business class air tickets and bring a friend)

2) If there was an audio glitch or sharp camera movement, SuperSport messaging: “Pictures courtesy of SABC” – no love lost there.

3) Every politician seemed to be there except President Zuma and “First Lady” Helen Zille but they had other pressing issues eg “Nkandla-gate” (sorry, not allowed to call it that) – but maybe they were there and I missed them in the hour that I was watching.

4) Tokyo Sexwale calling Chad le Clos “Chad le Claude“ and saying “Natalie du Toit was the best Paralympian at the Olympics” ... 

Ironically, Natalie should have been at the Olympics but I’ll leave that for another day. Can’t wait for the expiration of the draconian SASCOC code of conduct the athletes had to sign before London, which forbade them from criticising or chastising SASCOC for six months after the Games.

Have you ever?
   
Back to the awards and there was plenty of gravy on the red carpet but no invite for Joost van der Westhuizen who got a Lifetime Award.

Not sure if his invite is in the mail or if there just wasn’t enough in the R30 million odd budget for one more guest. You would expect the award winners to be invited.

Yip, a R35 million budget for the awards and a golf day – a sports ministry tender won by ‘guess who” (thanks Toastmasters)?

Drum roll please ....

The winner – C Squared whose CEO is a good friend of the Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula.

Is this perhaps why Mr Mbalula is so soft with SASCOC and allows them to use public funds as if it is their own bank account and change the rules willy nilly to suspend federations? 
 
We need new blood in SASCOC, we need people with a real passion for sport and not a passion for travelling around the world. The sporting codes have a chance to make that change at the SASCOC elections on November 24 but I fear, not much will change as the sporting bodies have been sucked in by this SASCOC vacuum. 

Sports Ministry and SASCOC (all protocol observed) – hope there will be vast improvement in the 2013 awards – our athletes deserve better!

Yours sincerely,
Graeme Joffe

PS: Tubby, you looked great in that suit – is it an Erke suit?

Email Graeme at: graeme@butterbean.co.za

Catch Graeme Joffe on SportsFire every Monday and Thursday at 17:30 on Radio Today, 1485am in JHB, National on DStv audio channel 169 and streaming worldwide on www.1485.org.za. Follow Graeme Joffe on Twitter: @joffersmyboy

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Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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