Cape Town - With
just over a year to go before the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics
begin, SASCOC announced its selection criteria for the various sports
codes at a press conference at Olympic House on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.
A total of 28 Olympic and 21 Paralympic sports will be contested in Rio.
The process of arriving at an agreed upon selection system commenced
as far back as 2011 when a working group, represented by all sectors of
the SASCOC membership- Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth, World Games
and Winter sports - was tasked to provide recommendations for selection
policies for 2013 to 2016.
The selection policy directive specified that there will be no
continental qualification route but where only a continental route is
applicable, additional riders would be added.
However, 11 NFs (10 Olympic and 1 Paralympic) requested consideration
of Continental qualification and to that effect two NFs have not yet
signed the policies.
Handball is the only sport that will not be attempting to qualify for
Rio Olympics having also not qualified for the African Games.
SASCOC CEO, Tubby Reddy highlighted that, SASCOC has not deviated
from the International Federations and International Olympic Committee
policies and qualification system other than not considering the
“Athletics and swimming do not have to attain two qualification
standards as was the case in 2012. However measures will be put in place
to ensure that athletes are not carrying any injuries and are fit for
competition,” he added.
SASCOC president Gideon Sam added that: “Athletes and coaches go
through highs and lows in the run up to big games such as the Olympics
Games. In setting criteria for selection, the idea is to help the
athletes know where they stand with the Confederation and to prepare
SASCOC General Manager: High Performance, Ms Ezera Tshabangu in her
presentation, indicated that the ongoing OPEX (Operation Excellence)
programme had been reviewed.
SASCOC continued with the OPEX and National Academy support programme
monitoring meetings with athletes and coaches. The Olympic body met
with all of the 71 athletes (26 Olympic; 32 Paralympic; two special
support and nine National Academy Support Programme - NASP) except for
five who were either travelling or at competitions. The meetings were
aimed at addressing preparation plans, to follow up from meetings held
in February 2015 and to focus on the upcoming world championships and
Prior to these meetings, the Performance Consultant, Professor Frank
Dick, evaluated the CVs of coaches. Over and above this, coaches had to
complete a Coach Evaluation form, which was used in conjunction with the
information provided on the CV to rate the coach.
Ms Tshabangu highlighted that the OPEX athletes’ contracts for the
period April 1 to September 30, 2015 had been finalised and sent to
athletes, with only a few athletes’ still outstanding.
Sam explained, “It is important for coaches and athletes to interact
with National Federations and the Sports Confederations to understand
the rationale behind how athletes remain on the OPEX programme and what
is required to remain on this very important support programme. The
members of the public through the media also take a keen interest in the
information that we release from time to time on how the athletes are
The requests for funding for this financial year amount to around
R28.6 million excluding requests for equipment and specialised medical
Allocations for the six-month period, April 1–September 30, 2015, were
approved as follows: Olympic Programme, just over R7.8 million and
Paralympic Programme around R4.5 million. The next assessment period
will be at the end of September 2015, after most World Championships
have been completed. It was noted that funding remains a challenge to
meet the needs of all the athletes.
A special fund to the tune of R3 million has been set aside for
specialised medical support. This is mainly for surgery and
rehabilitation for athletes who are without medical aid. SASCOC will
again be investigating a sponsored medical aid for athletes.
SASCOC in partnership with Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA),
South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Culture, Arts,
Tourism, Hospitality, Sports Sector Education and Training Authority
(CATHSSETA) and other stakeholders will be hosting an inaugural national
conference this week.
Reddy explained, “After noting districts and provinces’ serious
challenges with access to facilities and better working relations with
SALGA structures, SASCOC and SALGA signed a Memorandum of Understanding
in March 2015 and subsequently agreed on hosting a joint national
conference to address these fundamental issues that affect sport at
grass roots level.”
The SASCOC and SALGA one and a half-day national conference to be
held in Mangaung on July 10-11, 2015 will bring together, under one roof,
all Municipalities and SASCOC members to discuss and devise workable
plans on access to sports facilities, review of lease agreements,
handover of new facilities to federations and NFs involvement in the
construction of facilities. Other important matters to be discussed in
the conference will include: SRSA’s Facilities Plan on the provision of
facilities in Rural Communities, a plan on auditing of sports facilities
and a discussion on how SALGA should utilise the expertise of NFs to
run its SALGA Games.
The conference is due to address the following: Dictates of the
National Sport and Recreation Plan; roles and responsibilities of both
SASCOC and SALGA as per the Memorandum of Understanding, current
challenges on sports development, common priority areas as per mandates
of each organisation, and an action plan with clear timelines.
Sam added that, “As the governing body for sport our role is to
ensure that all our stakeholders get and understand the messages that we
send out to them.”
“The SASCOC and SALGA conference is an attempt to bring role players
in sport together to see whether we are on top of the decisions we took
around so many aspects on sport contained in our National Sport and
Recreation Plan, he concluded.”
Approximately 500 delegates are expected to convene at this conference.