SASCOC AGM drives pertinent T&D objectives

Cycling South Africa President, William Newman, and Vice President, Hendrik Wagener, attended the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) Annual General Meeting at SASCOC House in Johannesburg on Saturday 20 September.

SASCOC President, Gideon Sam, opened proceedings with his address, which included comments on the activities for the past year and outlining the path forward to Rio 2016. The progress on the coaching framework was commended.

Sam touched on the challenges still faced by the National Federations (NFs), with transformation remaining a huge focus (the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) will be engaging with all sports), leadership and the drive for sound governance in all the Federations, branding and marketing of the transformation successes, lack of funding remaining a big issue, and the current Lotto application process, which is limited to clubs and “no-fee” schools. It was stressed that the Federations need to constantly report on all activities in order to maintain awareness, and interest, in our sport.

Attention was drawn to the provinces and regions being operational, and that they must work with their Provincial Sport Confederations (PSCs). In terms of our recent international performances – the Commonwealth Games, African Youth Games and Youth Olympic Games – cycling was mentioned as a code that needs great improvement in performance to be in contention for Rio 2016 selection.

In the Minister of Sport’s keynote address, The Honourable Mr. Fikile Mbalula confirmed that transformation in sport remained the main focus. For meaningful transformation, a strong academy system, strong club system, active and developing school sport system, mass participation, and the implementation of the Transformation Charter is needed. Mbalula stressed that a clear plan of engagement is required, and that NFs must be prepared to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport to share a clear plan of engagement.

The objective of the NFs is to advance the interest of our sport across the country. Regarding transformation, Mbalula stated that the Ministry would meet with the NFs, and that if there was no implementation, that there would be consequences. It was stressed that the role of the PSCs is an important part of the transformation process. Good corporate governance remains critical in all our activities. A special focus will be placed on women’s development in order to successfully professionalise women’s sport.

Sports and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) has rolled out a Federation of the year programme where they provide support to a few deserving federations. Cycling SA intends exploring this avenue.

The issue of women in sport was addressed at length, stressing the need for strategies for the development of women in sport, and beyond sport, so that women are present on the Executive Committees and in the Board Room as well. The current strategy on women’s development is to be reviewed, after which a workshop will be convened.

In terms of finances, SASCOC’s finances are in a healthy position, but the risk regarding lack of future Lotto funding was highlighted. The effects of the new application process for Lotto funding are widespread, affecting SASCOC as well. The NFs need to establish a new funding strategy in order to become financially independent.

Newman said: “Many important matters have been raised in the AGM. We have to take note of these and put measures in place to address them collectively. If we do not address these issues, we as a National Federation are on our way to being irrelevant. I expect rigorous debate amongst ourselves about these important issues. Suggestions, ideas and feedback are most welcome.

“As I’ve mentioned on many previous occasions, club development is critical to the growth and development of our sport and the best tool to implement meaningful Transformation and Development.”