“We have our own sporting frameworks on place, and it’s only fair to use our own experience and resources rather than import coaches to mentor us,” says the Minister.
This follows one Cuban delegate who outined in detail on what makes their country one of respected nations when coming to sport and that, they have deployed close to 6700 coaches throughout the world to scout for talent.
The two-day gathering is attended by thousands of delegates ranging from sport, tourism, civic organizations and national departments, whose objective is to breath new lease of life into sport in South Africa.
At the bone of contention are sport policies which federations are not heeding, acute funding, sponsorships, grass-roots development and most importantly school’s sport.
The Indaba also sees the implementation of long awaited Sport and Recreation Plan -which will outline school’s sport and mass particpation; facilities; amateur vs professional sport and transformation; geo-political boundaries vs sport federations, amongst others.
Various local and international speakers gave account on their individual experiences, and noted what mechanisms should be applied to improve sport in the country.
Leading the pack was Sprinboks captain and Blue Bulls rugby star Victor Matfield who turned the whole gathering into a motivational speech. He said he learnt the art of discipline and hardwork from parents and mentors.
“ I was on the verge of becoming astray and too much big-headed but due to my respect to my sport, family and fans, I listened to my mentor when it seemed impossible.
To the young-ones who follow sport, this message is meant to encourage to respect yourself, time and the LOVE for what you do, always even if odds are stacked against you.”
Celebrated long distance runner and 1996 Olympic medalist Hezekiel Sepeng , who is now based at NW High Performance Center as Development Coach, gave a different account on how he ventured into athletics.
He alluded that, joining an athletic club was coincidence which almost ruined his life due to wayward behaviour and stealing bicycle which almost led to his arrest.
“Today, I look back and realise how immature I was but, that also taught me how to fight my battles. My experience and up-bringing was different to my peers but due to determination, listening and hardwork I became their idol at school.
So this goes to show that education and sport are two fundamental aspects which can bring the best out of you,” says Sepeng, who also confirmed that he used to chase after rabbits at tender age.
Tommorrow Six Commissions will report back and chart way forward on how to solidify and re-invigorate sport in SA.
Salga has committed 15% as part of Municipal Infrastructure Grant and Lotto Board has vouched to ring-fence R2million for sport development.
Sport Indaba was opened officially by the honourable Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
In his key speech address the Deputy President said, the remaining struggles in the sporting arena are driven by the vision of Transformation, Unity and Development.
‘We look at this Indaba not as just another event but a necessary follow up on the 2008 National Sport Indaba, which was motivated by the same reasons for which we are meeting today.
In line with the 2008 Indaba re-iterated the necessity to tranform all sporting codes in the country, reminding both players’ and administrators that transformation is non-negotiable as it is a Constitutional mandate and hence Government Agenda.”