Delegates from various sport coaching departments in South Africa have paid tribute to the late Professor Pat Duffy, a leader in the field of sports coaching.
The occasion was ahead of a two-day national Coaching Framework Implementation workshop at Olympic House, Johannesburg, starting on Thursday, 20 November. Duffy passed away in August this year.
In the United Kingdom earlier this week Leeds University also paid similar tribute to Duffy.
Amongst the many works he did in the sport coaching arena, Duffy was also instrumental in lobbying for South Africa to host the Global Coach Conference (GCC) in 2013 where the International Sports Coaching Framework (ISCF) was launched in Durban.
Desiree Vardhan (Manager: Coaching Department at SASCOC), expressed her appreciation of the role Duffy played in SA sport coaching. ‘Our life has been blessed through meeting Pat Duffy. He was a deep thinker who touched thousands of people and developed good relations across the globe. His love for people will be strongly remembered.’
‘He contributed so much in sport and changed South African coaching immensely. He challenged, equipped and inspired many of us. He was able to ensure collaboration, helped us to understand coaching and do away with discrimination in order to improve sports coaching,’ Vardhan added.
Many emotional sentiments were echoed by various delegates in tribute to Duffy whom they believed, made an enormous difference by treating everyone with equal respect and his impact is felt by the rest of the world.
SASCOC President, Gideon Sam said: ‘It’s a sad moment for us to start our workshop in this fashion but it is necessary to show our respect to Pat.
‘Not many people are like Pat – going to a foreign country and giving out their best, he was always ready to share knowledge with those who wanted knowledge. As South Africans, let’s be true to the dream that Pat had, of being passionate and dedicated coaches.
‘We shall go out there into our provinces and make sure that each district and municipalities receive the information that Pat gave us’, concluded Sam.