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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

The International Olympic Committee recently concluded its 10th World Conference on Sport and Environment in Sochi, Russia and I was pleased to be able to attend.

The theme of the conference: Changing Today For a Better Tomorrow, emphasised the need for sport to be in tune with the developments around Environmental Sustainability. In the first Plenary under the title: Beyond the Sporting Message: A Collective Vision for Sustainable Development, IOC President, Mr Thomas Bach, set the course to be followed by sport going forward. He was very clear about the action that we in sport must take and the need for less talk and more action.

With the tone having been set the rest of the conference settled down and discussed clear strategies for sport to take to make useful contributions to the debates around Sustainable Development.

Our host nation, Russia, was able to show off their readiness to host the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The venues that we visited were quite impressive and it is clear that Russia has a strategy for future sport development in the country.

We have a lot to learn from these countries especially the thorough planning they embark upon to ensure that the facilities do not become white elephants.

Back home, we at SASCOC, together with E for Exec’s hosted a Athletes Career Programme in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The aim of the programme is to expose our top-end athletes to the world of work and what they can expect once they have come to the end of their active sporting careers.

Our Chair of the Athletes Commission, Mr Emile Smith,  together with his counterparts on the continent and at the International Olympic Committee, helped delivered this programme for our athletes. The athletes showed much appreciation for what was being shared with them and, from a SASCOC perspective, this bodes well for the future preparation of our athletes.

Our athletes continue to do well around the world, but the escapades of one in particular, Chad le Clos, really stand out.

This guy has been nothing short of phenomenal on the Fina World Cup circuit and we hope to see him ascend the stage to receive some award for his remarkable consistency in the pool this year.