President's Voice -- Gideon Sam | TeamSA - TeamSA

President’s Voice — Gideon Sam

As per normal it’s been another busy period for both me and the SASCOC team.

We attended the Sports Accord in London with SASCOC financial chief Vinesh Maharaj and this gathering continues to be a great networking place for sport administrators and the industry. Over 1700 delegates from all over the world follow Sports Accord to hear about the latest developments and trends in sport.

A session that really caught my eye was the session where some of the top CEO’s of companies shared with us, what they want to see in sport.┬áCountries who have hosted the Olympics in the past shared their experiences and the legacy left by those Olympics.┬áI really feel that we should one day host the Sports Accord although obviously it is quite expensive to do so.

But if there is a city out there with a big appetite and just as big a big purse, please approach Sascoc and let us see what we can do for sport tourism

The preparation for Rio 2012 + 20 by the IOC took place in Doha, Qatar and as a member of the IOC Commission on Sport, I had to facilitate one of the sessions and also report on the activities of Africa on sport and the environment.

A number of countries like Senegal and Rwanda have fantastic programmes wherein they make their communities aware of the importance of looking after the environment. We saw a strong move towards raising the bar in terms of taking the campaign to another level after the June gathering in Rio next year. As Sascoc we have our own Commission on Sport and the Environment that feeds into the Africa committee which in turn feeds into the IOC.

In preparation for the August 2011 Sports Indaba being convened by the Honorable Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile Mbalula, the presidents of Sascoc have just met over two days in Kempton Park, to finalise inputs for this Indaba. The two day gathering ended with concrete positions of a number of issues that will be discussed at the Indaba. The federations and the Sports Councils will now take the process further in the provinces and districts.

The issue of funding for sport also received a lot of attention and a select committee will now research exactly why federations battle with funding and propose how the matter can be addressed to the benefit of the federations. As I continue to impress on the federations they need to be extremely pro-active when it comes to the matter of funding and also of championing their cases for funding.

I’m now off to Hungary after having been invited by the Hungarian Society of Sport Science to their eighth National Congress in Gyor to speak on ÔÇ£Sport in the service of Health and Development. The conference is a great platform to test out certain views that we have on sport.

It will also give me an opportunity link up with our ace canoe sprinter, Bridgitte Hartley who is on our OPEX programme and currently training in Hungary. I look forward to this second visit to Hungary and to reconnect with some outstanding sports scientists.