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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam

I’ve just got back from Malaysia where the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Extra General Meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur.

The meeting dealt successfully with the outstanding matters of the General Assembly of Glasgow in Scotland. The burning issue last year was whether the HQ of the Federation should be moved to Malaysia.

That matter has been reviewed and the meeting decided to continue operating out of the London office while a further search for new HQ goes on. The members were satisfied with the explanation of the Board why the Federation must find new premises. Continued occupation of the current offices remains a drain on the finances of the Federation.

The supporters of our national football team, Bafana Bafana, continue to debate the manner in which the ┬áteam was dumped out of the CHAN. It’s true that fans anywhere in the world feel disappointed when their team loses a competition but maybe we should look at how all South African sport operates.

We should rather debate these matters and see why people get frustrated with poor performances because there are reasons why a team under performs. We should rather challenge SAFA  to create country wide platforms where these debates can take place soberly.

South Africa will give the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, a miss this time around. The criteria for these Games was agreed upon as early as last year and was accepted by our members. No athlete satisfied the criteria and the SASCOC Board, after taking advice from the High Performance Commission, agreed not to send athletes.

We are eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the ASA matter. The IAAF will be meeting with Dr Sam Ramsamy to adjudicate on what has happened in the past few months. Whatever the outcome we at SASCOC hope the athletes will be given a chance to prepare for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow starting late July.

On the field of play, it was great to see our Blitzboks winning the Las Vegas leg of the IRB Rugby Sevens competition at the weekend. Well done to captain Kyle Brown and coach Neil Powell. Their current form is most encouraging, even though we are still two years out from the Rio Olympics where Sevens Rugby makes its Olympic debut.

Down Under in Australia we were privileged to see not one, but two South Africans making the finals of the Aussie Open grand slam tennis tournament. Congratulations to Raven Klaasen for making the doubles final and also to 2012 Paralympian Lucas Sithole who played the final of the wheelchair quads division.