SASCOC hosts the second edition of Athletes Indaba

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Athletes Commission hosted the second edition of the Athletes Indaba following the success of the Indaba held in April this year. The... Read more
SASCOC hosts the second edition of Athletes Indaba

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Athletes Commission hosted the second edition of the Athletes Indaba following the success of the Indaba held in April this year.

The Athletes Indaba took place at the Olympic House in Johannesburg on Saturday 29 October and some delegates joined the event virtually countrywide.

Khotso Mokoena, Chairperson of the Athletes Commission explained the importance of athletes and compared the sporting industry to a dry dessert if it is without athletes. The significance of the Athletes Commission is there to bridge the communication gap between the athletes and the administrators.

“The Athletes Commission is a platform where the athletes’ voices are heard,” Mokoena added.

“There is a bright future for the sports industry but certain issues linked to sport are absolutely inexcusable and need us as athletes to play our part in addressing these matters together with our administrators,” Mokoena explained.

Issues such as doping, sports betting (cheating) and safeguarding are some of the concerns that require immediate attention so that athletes practise safe and clean sport. Some of the answers to these matters come from athletes, hence the need to engage and deliberate constructively in such Indabas.

The President of SASCOC, Mr Barry Hendricks, reiterated the importance of the Athletes Indaba and encouraged the members of this Commission, “We should meet with other Athletes Commissions from around the world as you are part of the galaxy in the world. Engagements with other Athletes Commissions give you a platform to learn from others and grow so if those opportunities present themselves you should grab them.”

“As an Athletes Commission you have a strategic plan which encourages all structures at various levels in the country to have Athletes Commissions within them. Such Indabas should not happen once a year but throughout the year, and these engagements with athletes should be part of the sports movement.”

“SASCOC is committed to support the athletes and the Athletes Commission should guide us in the best possible ways we can support athletes. We want to promote athletes platforms and we need to build on all this,” added Mr Hendricks.

Ms Nozipho Jafta, the CEO of SASCOC echoed the same sentiments on the importance of athletes, “Athletes are the heartbeat of any Olympic Committee and we are judged by their success. There has been an unwavering commitment to listen to the athletes and to ensure their voices are heard far and wide.”

“We are gearing up to re-launch our OPEX program, we are already engaging our local and
international partners to assist our athletes with their pre games training for Paris 2024 and
LA 2028. We are also engaging partners and sponsors to invest in our athletes and travel
this journey with us.”

“We participated at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Team South Africa finished ninth on the medals table with 27 medals, comprising seven gold, nine silver and 11 bronze medals. Against all odds, our athletes worked very hard to prepare for these games and as a small token of appreciation, we have rewarded all medallists with the funding we received from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and the Department of Sport, Arts and
Culture (DSAC).”

Ms Jafta concluded by stating that although the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics are already looming large, the efforts by the Athletes Commission are ensuring that our athletes will arrive at those events in good shape, determined to build on what Team SA achieved and what lessons we have learnt along the way.

Other key role players made presentations and these included Dr Kirsten van Heerden, Chairperson of SASCOC’s Psychology Working Group; Kady Kanouté from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes 365 Educator and Malebo Raditladi-Nkgakile from the AUSC Region 5 organising committee presented on different topics which included Mental Health, Safeguarding and Athletes wellbeing.

There was a de-brief on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and an update on the preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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