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Huge boost as VSA gets much-needed funds for growth

Friday was a red-letter day for Volleyball South Africa (VSA) when the newly appointed Minister of Sport and Recreation, Thembelani ‘Thulas’ Nxesi, announced during his maiden budget speech in parliament that volleyball has being declared as the country’s ‘Sport of the Year’, 2017.

According to VSA vice-president Kriba Reddy, netball, basketball and hockey were the previous recipients of the national accolade recognising good governance and transformation at all levels of the code of sport.

Reddy said: ‘Arising out of the Sports Indaba in 2011, the government’s White Paper on Sport identified 16 priority codes of sport which excluded the so called “television sports”, rugby, soccer and cricket, that have a huge following in our country. The White Paper also spoke to the establishment of sport-focused schools, which included academies in each province.

‘With volleyball making it on to the priority list, it was a matter of time before Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) gave our sport the nod to be the recipient of their assistance, valued at R30-million over a three-year period.’

‘Through their funding policy the government’s plan is to increase the profile of the code chosen as the ‘Sport of the Year’ whereby R10m will be used each year to run a semi-professional league that will get television coverage, and hopefully attract corporate sponsorship to continue the process that SRSA started after the end of the three-year period.

‘SRSA will foot the bill for transport, accommodation, meals and stipends for the nine provincial men and women’s indoor and beach volleyball teams,’ elaborated Reddy.

To fast track the process, VSA president Anthony Mokoena and  secretary general Michael Makhubela engaged in several discussions with SRSA director general Alec Moemi on the logistics of running the provincial based semi-professional league. They agreed that the league will be run in KwaZulu-Natal over a six-week period from October to November this year.

Mokoena went on to say that the establishment of sport-focused schools as stated in the government’s White Paper will greatly benefit the sport, as they will become a nursery for the provincial teams. He pointed out that the Western Cape sport-focused school for volleyball in Kuils River in the Western Cape is a case in point.

‘The learners live at the school’s modern hostel and have access to excellent facilities to upskill themselves after school hours. The school provides the services of qualified male and female coaches, strength conditioning  at the school’s gymnasium and a medical support team that includes a bio-kinetistist,  physiotherapist and doctor on call. The learners, whose ages range from 14 to 17 years, play in the Cape’s schools’ league and in the community-based league to give them competition experience,’ added Mokoena.

In the picture (left to right): Anthony Mokoena (president, Volleyball South Africa); Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi (Minister of Sport and Recreation) and Alec Moemi (director general Sport and Recreation)


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