He was speaking exclusively to SOWETOLIFE MAGAZINE ONLINE, during the announcement of Lottery funding to Team South Africa which is preparing for 2012 London Olympics last week.
The unassuming Professor went on to note that the funding – although not subjected- should be in line with the performance and medals which the team should accumulate at the Olympics.
“Our belief is that, this funding should act as motivation to the team, considering that some of the sporting codes have no sponsors. Having said that, also our position is to try and improve the work rate of our athletes in accumulating more medals this time around,” he says.
NLB has contributed a whooping R47million into the coffers of Team SA as part of preparations.
SA medals in 2004 Athens Olympics were six but went from that to decline to scary 1 medal in 2008 Beijing Olympics, and according to Prof, as he’s known amongst his peers, this ‘act of solidarity’ would in return strive to propel the team to higher achieve more.
One Million has been made available to the SA Hockey Team, another R 1million to Banyana Banyana, and R2million to Swimming SA.
The South African Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) was given R26 million, having already committed six million rands in the past by the National Sport and Recreation department.
Fire-brand Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Sport and Recreation also made a plea to the private sector to come on board and rally behind Team SA, having announced that his department has made available R34 million for operational expenses for Team SA.
“This call is neither for my image nor my department but for the sake of our country which did not compete well at last Olympic Games. This is our legacy which must be preserved and we can only do much as the department, “he said.
Various representatives from swimming, hockey, athletics and Banyana who were at the function, all agreed that, this kind of support and resources invested into the team would never go unnoticed.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal is the champion of the 2012 Indigenous Games held at the national Indigenous Games Festival in Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria, last weekend.
The Indigenous Games Festival is part of the National Department of Sport and Recreation’s Mass Participation Programme whose purpose is to encourage increased participation in sport and recreation throughout the country.
The games are government’s effort to promote cultural diversity, and tolerance; improve relations for participating athletes and officials; and celebrate the country’s rich cultural heritage.
KZN as the winning province will represent South Africa at the cultural games in Lithuania, in July 2012, having amassed 1 631 points compared to 1 185 of North West, and 1 040 of Limpopo.
Out of 9 codes, KZN won 6, namely: Iintonga; Driestokkies; Diketo; Kgati; Morabaraba; and Dibeke. The other code winners were Limpopo, in Ncuba; North West in Khokho; and Mpumalanga in Jukskei.
The closest the host province, Gauteng, came to winning any code, was when they obtained 2nd place in Ncuba and Dibeke.