Mbalula, Sam join forces
SASCOC president Gideon Sam and Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - SASCOC has wrapped up its President's Council meeting in Johannesburg on Monday with an even stronger commitment to strengthening the sports movement in South Africa.
The country's Olympic governing body, under president Gideon Sam, remains as dedicated as ever to driving sport as a medium of change in the country. And adding impressive weight to SASCOC's bid to up sport's game was Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula who addressed the country's some 80 National Federations on Sunday.
SASCOC is as keen as ever to work hand in hand with SRSA (Sports and Recreation South Africa) to transform sport from top to bottom in South Africa.
After last year's ground-breaking Sports Indaba in Midrand, and the implementation of the National Sports Plan the Minister elaborated on the recent formation of The Eminent Persons Group to be responsible for advising him on the broad topic of transformation.
"Our next step is to discuss the detail of the terms of reference with SASCOC and all federations and sporting bodies. The terms of reference of this Eminent Persons Group will be unveiled after we have discussed all pertinent issues at a workshop with SASCOC," said Mbalula.
"Given the uniqueness of sports bodies ... there must be a joint workshop with full participation and involvement of all sporting codes and federations and it must be a case of collective ownership," said the minister.
As always there was the matter of funding to help sports move forward and the minister gave his re-assurances. "When the Natonal Sports Plan is integrated it will involve funding."
On the approaching London Olympics, the minister's humour was, as always, most evident. "One thing that we have got right as a sports movement was in not making it too easy to qualify for these Olympics. This is not a joy ride. We're not going to London to watch Father Christmas!"
The final session of the council saw members clad in the green T-shirts that SASCOC is promoting and urging the public to wear on Fridays as a means to boost the Team South Africa brand ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics.
On the subject of extra funding, the meeting was also addressed by horse racing organisation, Phumelela's betting executive Vee Moodley. He was punting the idea of introducing betting terminals to various sports clubs and organisations.
"The plan is to install our terminals in, for example, a sports club," said Moodley. "You can then sell our sports betting products and make a commission on the turnover. We are proposing the sports club would get 15% of the monthly turnover and we would give a further 3% to that sports governing body."
The bottom line to emerge from the meeting: President Sam and Minister Mbalula are punting the same vigorous path forward to transformation and development of sport in SA in order to unlock the true sporting potential of South Africa.