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SASCOC & Gideon Sam

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Corruption allegations against Gideon Sam come back to life

GROUNDUP 

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2016-07-13-groundup-corruption-allegations-against-gideon-sam-come-back-to-life/#.V8LtOilP-pc

13 JUL 2016 01:01 (SOUTH AFRICA)

Several years after AmaBhungane reported on accusations of bribery levelled against Sascoc president Gideon Sam, allegations of corruptions resurfaced. A Sascoc meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 13 July to discuss the matter, which has as yet never been tested in court. By Rejul Bejoy for GROUNDUP.

In the midst of preparing the South African Olympic Team for the Rio Games, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) is now holding high-level meetings to discuss the future of its president, Gideon Sam, amid renewed allegations of corruption.

On 28 June an anonymous email was sent to key officials of the Commonwealth Games Federation and Sascoc, drawing their attention to corruption allegations in 2008 against Sam and asking both organisations to take action against him. (Durban is hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022.)

The email included a statement from prominent advocate and director of Cricket South Africa Norman Arendse claiming that Sam had attempted to bribe him at a meeting in 2008. At the time Arendse was chairing an adjudication committee tasked by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to evaluate bids on a social grant delivery system tender worth R7 billion. The bribery allegation had been previously reported by AmaBhungane in the Mail & Guardian in 2012.

GroundUp understands that this is the first time Arendse's statement, as well as a supporting statement by his secretary, Colleen Beverley Bainbridge, has been placed in the public domain.

Officials within Sascoc confirmed that a preliminary meeting on the issue was scheduled for Wednesday 13 July. They are still trying to determine if Arendse’s statement is authentic. GroundUp has been able to independently verify that it is.

Corruption allegations

Arendse’s statement describes a 21 September 2008 meeting between him and Sam concerning bidding for an R7 Billion Sassa tender on the payment of social grants. At the time, Arendse was chairing an adjudication committee appointed by Sassa. The committee was planning on advising Sassa to reject all bids for the tender the following day.

Arendse claims that Sam asked for the meeting with him to discuss a “sports matter” and “business opportunity”. He says that during the meeting Sam instead offered him a bribe and claimed to be a representative of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), which was bidding for the tender.

Arendse says he immediately refused the bribe, informed the rest of the adjudication committee, and informed the CEO of CPS’s parent company Net1 of the incident. He also “found it very suspicious that Mr Sam knew both that [he] was finalising the report [recommending rejecting all tenders] that night and that the adjudicators were to meet in Cape Town the next day.”

Net1 CEO Serge Belamant stated that he had never heard of Sam and he was not affiliated with the company. According to the Mail & Guardian, Sam denied that the incident ever occurred, saying “No, no. Not at all. I've never done social pensions. I am a sportsperson.”

On 25 September 2008, the Adjudication Committee recommended that the tender be cancelled as none of the bids fitted the requirements. The committee decided approaching the government with the corruption allegations was not necessary as the Director General of the Department of Social Development was part of the committee and aware of the allegations. No official action or investigation was undertaken.

(Further allegations are made against Sam in this 2011 TimesLive article.)

Ongoing social grant tender controversy

In 2011, CPS successfully bid for an updated Sassa tender worth R10 billion but faced extensive legal challenges from other contenders over irregularity in the tender process. In 2015 the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that the contract was technically invalid, but allowed it to continue as ending it would massively disrupt social grant delivery. Last October, Sassa decided not to renew the contract when it ends in 2017.

The US Department of Justice is currently investigating Net1 and CPS over the 2011 tender process. Arendse says his statement has been sent to the Department of Justice as part of its investigation. A previous class-action lawsuit brought in the United States over the tender process was dismissed in 2015.

Gideon Sam background

Sam has been president of Sascoc since November 2008. His second term is due to expire later this year. It is unclear if he plans to stand for re-election.

Sam is also currently serving as the vice president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and is coordinating planning for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The Durban Games has faced controversy over poor communication between Sascoc and the provincial government, and the overall readiness of the games.

Failure to disclose family involvement in Durban Games

On 12 July, the CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), David Grevemberg responded to the anonymous email stating that the corruption allegations “were formally discussed and it was concluded that there was not sufficient information or evidence provided at this time relating to the state's tender to form the basis of a CGF-led inquiry.”

However, he did state that the CGF’s Governance and Integrity Committee found that Sam had not disclosed family involvement in corporations involved with the Durban 2022 Games. While no improprieties were found, the need to disclose all possible conflicts of interest was “reinforced to all CGF Executive Board members.”

Gideon Sam did not answer GroundUp’s telephone calls or email. DM

What is Sascoc?

According to its website the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee "is South Africa’s national multi-coded sporting body responsible for the preparation, presentation and performance of teams to all multi-coded events, namely the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Games, All Africa Games, Olympic Youth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Zone VI Games."

This feature was first published by GroundUp.

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Sascoc need to stop playing it again, SamSPORT / 28 August 2016, 1:33pm

Kevin McCallum

The 13 members of the board of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee sat at the head table at Sascoc’s (SA Sports Confederation and Olypmic Committee) AGM at Olympic House yesterday.That board has not changed much for some time, the faces are the same. Athletes come and go, Olympics and Paralympics go by, but administrators hang on.

 

There have been whispers that there may be change when elections are held in November. Gideon Sam, who replaced Moss Mashishi as president in 2008, has apparently said he would not stand for a third term, wanting to be more involved with the business side of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Recently, though, he has been hinting he wants to stay on. One Sascoc insider told me they believe there needs to be a clear-out of the current board to change the scourge of entitlement. The politicking has just begun.

 

Administrators often change their minds.

On Tuesday, Sam said he had delivered on bringing 10 medals back from Rio, which earned particular scorn from Sunette Viljoen, who tweeted: “He delivered? What did he deliver?”

 

At former sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile’s memorial service in East London, Sam sang a different tune. “How is it possible that a country with 55 million people can go to the Olympics and only come back with 10 medals, tell me how is that possible? This is while a small country like New Zealand, with 4.5 million citizens, gets 18 medals, while a small island such as Jamaica has also won more than we did. Surely that cannot be right,” said Sam and, according to the Daily Dispatch, he got a few laughs for that.

 

“(Stofile) was instrumental in building structures of sport from the ground in the Eastern Cape and beyond. Today we can go to the Olympics and come back with medals, because of the foundation he had laid for our people. However, structures are now dying and as a result of that, we have very poor administrators in sport.”

 

And with those last seven words, Sam may just have summed up why South Africa have under-performed at the Olympics since 1992. Sports administration has become less about the athlete and more about the administrator.

 

When Sam took over in the aftermath of South Africa winning one medal in Beijing 2008, his message was that it was all about the athlete. If the athletes did not perform, then he encouraged South Africans to blame the board of Sascoc.

 

London, with its promise of 12 medals from the 2012 Games, returned six medals. Rio should and could have been better; as Sam said, in a nation of 55 million it has to be better.

 

How could it be better? Two things: More money and better administrators.

 

New Zealand’s success in Rio stems from a nation besotted with sport and from the guidance of the Graham Report into sport. Drawn up in 2000 by John Graham, a former All Blacks manager, it found that there had been a “lack of effective co-ordination between government agencies”.

 

The separate sporting entities were combined to form Sport and Recreation New Zealand. This, a government report in 2005 said, “was a clean sheet of paper to rewrite the way sport and recreation were administered in New Zealand”.

 

Programmes were given a stronger strategic focus with obstacles to engagement identified and overcome. Athletes were “carded” and provided with access to coaches, sports science services and, importantly, coaches.

 

The report found that the level of government spending in sport and recreation was “highly inadequate – certainly not enough to attain the levels of sporting success that as a nation we expect”.

 

It raised from NZ$3.2 million (R33m) for 2000-01 to NZ$50 million in 2004-05.

 

South Africa’s funding model is based on the begging bowl. Sascoc said R400m would be needed to prepare the team for Rio. An amount of R200m of that was to come from Lotto or the government and the rest was to be sourced from corporate South Africa.

 

But corporate South Africa is wary of investing in Sascoc.

 

After South Africa had returned from the 2012 Paralympics, Sam announced at the arrival function for the Paralympic team that Sascoc was financially sound. At a parliamentary portfolio committee on sport hearing in October 2012, Sam backtracked. “No, we don’t have cash. We are battling. It’s just that we didn’t want to create a scene at the airport. It’s not good for our athletes and it’s not good for the country,” reported the Mail and Guardian.

 

“When you get to that place, you sort of… you know, I mean you are all politicians. Siyazigquma izinto (we cover-up things), we don’t pa ha (reveal) in public. We get together in a corner and talk about these things.”

 

In June, just before the Rio Games, Sascoc were again battling with cash.

 

They were given a R70m bailout by the Lotto, which Sam said was vital.

 

“We were beginning to panic, let me now reveal the truth – and I am happy that we can go to Rio, there was a doubt as to whether any of these board members would be going to Rio.”

 

The same board members who sat at the head table at Olympic House yesterday managed to get their trip to Rio. At what cost? Yesterday those same board members would have spoken about things. Others wouldn’t pa ha in public.

 

Something has to change.

In November, the board will either be full of new blood or the old faces with blood on the floor.

How did Sam put it? “…We have very poor administrators in sport.”

Those seven words sound about right.

 

– The Sunday Independent

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Thou shall not question Sascoc

SPORT / 29 August 2016, 09:05am

Kevin McCallum

Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. A good line. A great line. A stolen line, apparently lifted by John F Kennedy from his former school headmaster for his 1961 inauguration address. It is also the gist of the contracts signed by South African athletes with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

In the agreements for Operation Excellence and participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, 38 paragraphs or points detail what is expected from the athletes. There are just four on what is expected from Sascoc in return.

Chief Sports Writer Kevin McCallum laments the skewed relationship between Sascoc and our top athletes. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

That may be a standard in contracts signed by the athletes of other countries with their sporting authorities, but that doesn’t make it right. It is excessive and detracts from Sascoc’s oft repeated mantra of ‘athletes first’.

Athletes may see and hear evil while they are part of the Opex programme or a member of Team South Africa, but they must speak no evil, and they may not do so for a long time.

Their contracts warn that should they put Sascoc in a bad light, they could be sued for every cent invested in them.

That period extends for five years after they have retired:

“4.1.28: That the athlete undertakes for a period of five (5) years from the effective date, not to disclose or divulge in any manner whatsoever to any third party, any information gained or obtained by the Athlete in respect of any fellow Athlete and/or technical or support staff, irrespective of whether such information is obtained directly or indirectly by the Athlete is a member of the OPEX programme and/or Team South Africa.”

Before the 2008 Paralympics, Oscar Pistorius, now convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, called me from Beijing to accuse team officials of mismanagement.

He said it was a mess. Athletes had not received their team kit nor the ‘tags’ used to access the vending machines that provided water and cooldrinks at the training venues.

Sascoc officials took business class seats while disabled athletes sat in cattle class. We ran the story as a front-page lead. Sascoc were not best pleased.

The first reaction from officials was that as Pistorius was a member of Team South Africa he should not be criticising Sascoc. Then someone discovered that they had not got Pistorius to sign his contract yet. Sascoc issued a statement saying they were disappointed he had spoken to the media.

Sunette Viljoen has not signed an Opex contract since September 2015. She has been the only athlete to openly criticise Sascoc, and she has, in turn, been called a ‘liar’ and ‘negative’. On Saturday, her partner, LiMari Louw, the broadcaster, issued a statement on what she said would be the Olympic silver medallist’s “final comment on the matter”.

“Sascoc continues making Sunette out as an ungrateful liar and keep hammering on the fact that they have to date paid her about R900 000 in total to support her for Rio,” wrote Louw.

“Please note that this amount is over a time of more than four years and never amounted to more than an average of R13 000 per month. Sunette has never received a new Opex contract since September 2015 and have (sic) sent in numerous budgets at the request of Sascoc.”

Viljoen released copies of email correspondence with Sascoc in which she asked them why her grant had dropped from R20 000 in 2009 to R13 000 in 2016.

She complained of receiving payments late and inconsistently. She said she received no reply.

On Saturday, the sports minister, Fikile Mbalula gave a keynote address at the Sascoc AGM.

“We need more money,” he said. “We need to work harder and invest in sport in a similar fashion to Britain to get the best results and many medals. It’s time to have a budget focused on Olympics, every year we should get money for Olympics. I am going to advocate and motivate to the government that we get a budget for Olympics over and above the money we receive for development of sports and NFs (national federations).

“It was a difficult road to Rio but we conquered and brought home 10 medals.”

Viljoen and many of her fellow athletes did the majority of that conquering. They did the sacrificing and training, the begging and worrying to bring home medals and glory for their country. And through it all, they had a piece of paper that warns them to keep quiet and informs them: Ask not what Sascoc can do for you - ask what you can do for Sascoc. - The Star

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A good article............

The Games are four years away but political agendas and funding stymy SA’s potential

Luke Alfred 26 Aug 2016 00:00

Having enjoyed the Rio Olympics, we have become quickly fatigued, wanting it to be over even as we hoped for another world record.

The next time we will feel as passionate about anything Olympic — whether it be a 10-medal haul or the International Olympic Committee members’ per diem of $900 a day — will be in Tokyo in four years’ time, an eternity away.

Yes? No!

“We started thinking about Tokyo three years ago,” says Toby Sutcliffe, the head of the High Performance Centre (HPC) at Pretoria University, an institution that, along with the Tuks Sport High School, provided South Africa’s team with 39 athletes in Rio. “Our model is the 10000 hours, seven-year one. We can’t suddenly wake up to the implications of Tokyo from four years out.”

Part of the Tukkies campus, the HPC is an externally funded institution that ploughs back its profits into the athletes themselves, many of whom are at the university on scholarships. The institution recruits actively, says Sutcliffe, and once an athlete, golfer, footballer or rower is at the HPC, they are graded into one of three categories.

These are based on the athletes’ likelihood of capturing a medal in Tokyo, and those in each category receive greater perks on an upward scale. Those in “gold”, for example, might receive physiotherapy from an experienced, in-house therapist, whereas those in “bronze”, the lowest rung, might receive theirs from a young physiotherapist doing their internship.

With federations such as athletics, swimming (which has no sponsor) and boxing (no South African boxers were present in Rio) increasingly unable to deliver on their mandate of organisation and development, it has been left to institutions such as the HPC to keep South Africa’s Olympic flame burning.

Luvo Manyonga trains there, and 10 of the Banyana Banyana women’s football team were students at the Tuks Sport High School. Many of South Africa’s rowing crews are involved with the HPC in one form or another, and this seems set to continue. Roodeplaat, the rowers’ favoured training dam, isn’t far away, and it makes logistical and practical sense for rowers to be based upcountry, with its good year-round and largely windless weather.

A similar situation exists at universities elsewhere. The University of the North-West provided a sheltered training environment for Caster Semenya and Sunette Viljoen, silver medallist in the women’s javelin, whereas Wayde van Niekerk graced two of Bloemfontein’s premier educational institutions, Grey College and the University of the Free State.

“The federations are undoubtedly dysfunctional,” says Sutcliffe. “I call them the tracksuit and travel brigade. If it hadn’t been for the Afrikaans universities, I really don’t know where our medals would have come from.”

It is moot how much the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has done for South Africa’s Olympic effort, although, in fairness, it is to some extent reliant on the sports-specific federations that fall under its control.

Although much has been made of the absence in Rio of the men’s and women’s hockey teams and the women swimmers, not to mention the failure to enter a 4x100m men’s relay team, less attention has been drawn to the invisibility of South Africa’s boxers, once a rich seam of Olympic gold. Not too long ago, amateur and professional wings of the sport were in rude health. Although the sport is undoubtedly in gradual global decline, South African boxing in the past five years has staggered, punch-drunk, from one administrative crisis to the next.

Contrast boxing’s self-inflicted wounds with Sascoc’s approach to excluding hockey teams from Rio.

“Hockey is a growth sport,” says Kelvin Watt, who sits on the South African Hockey executive. “Astros are being laid across the country. Last year, the Maritzburg College first XI, the top-ranked schoolboy side in the country, contained a high proportion of black boys, so it’s got decent development credentials. Here’s a sport with a future.”

Neither hockey team in Rio would have won a medal but the sport’s Olympic neglect is the perfect demonstration of the institutional and politically motivated myopia that is holding South Africa back. Sutcliffe, for instance, believes that alignment is crucial if the country is to build on a steadily rising medal haul after the global embarrassment of Khotso Mokoena’s silver in Beijing eight years ago.

“People aren’t going to like me for saying this, but we’re a country of finite sporting resources. We have got to be more strategic, and if that requires Sascoc, big business and us to sit around a table and find a way of doing this together, we can. We have the will to do so.”

Sutcliffe believes such an alignment will lead naturally to a pre-existing terminus — Durban’s host- ing of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. With a falling rand and international competition outside the country increasingly difficult for cash-strapped federations to fund, he suggests that one way around this would be to attract meetings, regat- tas and tournaments here, particu- larly at junior level.

With many federations abdicating their responsibilities, it has been left to schools to develop and inspire. Sutcliffe thinks there’s something smelly out there. “There’s definitely a gap — I’m not sure we’re producing the youngsters and attracting the interest that we should be.”

Then again, it is unhelpful to generalise. South African Rowing brought back only a silver medal from Rio, but five crews made their way into A finals and several crews came fourth in those finals. This week, a women’s eights crew rowed in Rotterdam, in the World under-23 Championships — a South African first.

Here is a sport on a steady upward curve and one from which medals will surely come. It makes strategic sense to give rowing — and not amateur boxing, which secured a R10-million loan from the government last year — all the support it deserves.

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Here's Tubby's response to Luke Alfred..................

RIGHT OF REPLY

Luke Alfred’s “The Games are four years away but political agendas and funding stymy SA’s potential” is a meld of fiction and fantasy where the views of Toby Sutcliffe — director of the High Performance Centre (HPC) at the University of Pretoria (UP) — are allowed to escape scrutiny. By failing to offer the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) an opportunity to respond to Sutcliffe’s opinions in the original article, we are left with the impression that Alfred is jumping on the bandwagon in the popular pursuit of Sascoc-bashing.

We welcome constructive criticism as long as it is based on fact, but we believe that Sutcliffe is guilty of only proving partial facts to construct a story that validates his privileged world view. We believe that the reality is much more complex and is deeply rooted in our past.

The inconvenient truths are much more interesting and will provide a clearer understanding of reality — a reality that is a far removed from Sutcliffe’s world.

According to Sutcliffe: “If it hadn’t been for Afrikaans universities, I really don’t know where our medals would have come from.”

Quite obviously, Sutcliffe does not do irony. It is unsurprising that he views sports development and excellence through a racial lens. Historically, white universities were the bastions of privilege and exclusion, and Afrikaner universities were the apex of such privilege.

Not much has changed. It was privilege borne out of a “white is right” mentality and anything of a lesser shade was inferior and not worthy of recognition.

This mentality is still pervasive on our sports fields and boardrooms where transformation elicits the worst kind of racist tropes and reignites the racist passions of apartheid past.

Incidentally, Sutcliffe should publically explain the racial composition of the HPC’s executive committee.

It is easy to pass callous and mean-spirited judgments on sporting federations while comfortably ensconced in the offices of the HPC. But that privilege is not afforded to our federations, who have to compete for limited funding and resources. Sutcliffe’s blanket condemnation of federations as “dysfunctional” is clearly an opinion forged without a semblance of truth.

Can Sutcliffe name all these federations? Under the umbrella of Sascoc, there are many federations and administrators who are doing excellent work — even with the limited resources available to them.

That they might not meet Sutcliffe’s exalted standards is not because of lack of trying but because they have to deal, on a daily basis, with redressing decades of historical inequities at grass-roots level. By its nature, the HPC is a privileged institution, ably serviced by Sutcliffe and his all-white executive committee.

It is important to clarify what support Sascoc affords to our athletes. It is not a “moot point” as Alfred seems to believe. If he had contacted us we would have educated him about that effort.

In the 2009-2012 quadrennial, Sascoc, through its Operation Excellence programme, supported 58 athletes for Olympic Games preparation and 42 athletes for Paralympic Games preparation. It was evident from the Games that it is critical for this support to continue, ensuring that athletes are able to plan for the next quadrennial (2013-2016). Post-London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 74 athletes, of which 40 were Olympians and 34 were Paralympians, were supported through the programme.

So despite Sutcliffe’s believe that the HPC has a unique seven-year talent identification programme, Sascoc has been targeting, nurturing and supporting sportsmen and women over a seven-year period and beyond so that they become serious medal contenders at all major sporting events.

Although it is true that the HPC offers a base where athletes can prepare, Sascoc has, since the last quadrennial (2013-2016), spent about R118-million on supporting our athletes. This includes paying for their accommodation, meals, equipment, their coaches and trainers and medical aid. Compared to other countries, we believe this amount needs to increase dramatically, so that we are able to provide even more to our athletes.

Sutcliffe claims Luvo Manyonga, Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk as evidence of his success. And so the obvious question is: Why were there not more medalwinning athletes produced from the HPC or any other “Afrikaans universities”?

We are emerging from a past where neglect and exclusion, at every human level, was a firmly entrenched policy.

Apartheid ravaged our people and to address these immediate realities, present government spending has different priorities. We are in agreement that corporate South Africa needs to be filling this financial vacuum. We need a multipronged approach to examine the needs of our sportsmen and women.

Our existing model has produced success at Rio and further involvement from other sectors will no doubt bring a greater haul of medals. Sascoc will do whatever is necessary to drive this process, together with parties that are dedicated to athlete development. This process calls for honesty and acceptance of our iniquitous past so that there are no claims of unwarranted triumphalism and success. HPCs in the country have a necessary function to perform, so too do other individuals and organisations that work tirelessly to produce well-rounded athletes who can perform on the world stage.

Tubby Reddy is the chief executive of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

 

 

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Can Sutcliffe name all these federations? Under the umbrella of Sascoc, there are many federations and administrators who are doing excellent work — even with the limited resources available to them.

I notice he doesn't name them either. Maybe he is thinking of SAFA, SARU and CSA.

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Name any Federation which has a published Development Plan, Budgets, Financial Statements and a current Business Plan complete with Marketing Strategy.

And no they should not be allowed to be (Pty) businesses as they are in the public domain. It is my view that all federations should be registered as NPCs and be open to scrutiny.

My point is that SRSA and SASCOC claim to be businesslike and open to scrutiny but are not. They lack in fundamental skills and integrity. Consequently the plundering that is rife in our country is also prevalent in sport bodies.

Public scrutiny would go a long way to at least making it more difficult to get away with their unconstitutional salaries and lavish lifestyles. In addition, registration of private companies associated to sport federations is a way to milk those sports. This is exactly what the critics are suggesting but not saying.

In addition, Reddy does not address any of the issues raised by Sutcliffe directly. Instead he heads off on a rant against apartheid and its long term negative effects. These clowns have had at least 35 years (YES - long before the abolition of apartheid sport federations became integrated), to get their house in order and still cannot logically discern between "Transformation" and "Development".

Their failure is simply because they cannot get their heads out of their assess and put together a coherent plan.

Read the SRSA Regional Development Plan which should have been implemented 4 years ago. It is a very good plan. It has flaws but once pilots are introduced, kinks could be addressed and rectified.

What has SRSA done with this plan? Nothing. Some facilities have been built under the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) but nothing has been done to allow the public to fully utilise these facilities. You cannot build a gymn and not provide trainers or coaches. You cannot build a lifesaver's clubhouse and not train lifesavers.

Sutcliffe is in the business of IO Sport - that is primarily where his experience lies and believe me, he is very, very knowledgeable about sport federations and their expertise just as he is aware of the incompetence of SASCOC. Tubby Reddy needs to read his own Constitution.

 

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1 hour ago, Arlecchino said:

Name any Federation which has a published Development Plan, Budgets, Financial Statements and a current Business Plan complete with Marketing Strategy.

I know that it is a small amateur sport and I have been out of it for ages but many a discipline in SA can take a leaf out of the book of the SA Wrestling Association.

When I first got involved in the sport in 1987 it was a sport mainly practices by white Afrikaans males. Very few English speaking people were involved in it. No female wresting existed and no wrestlers of colour with no talks ever of involving females or people of colour. It has always been cash strapped and every club had to fight to keep their heads above the water. No govt grants. Nothing. What kept the sport going, IMO, was the value that it had in the development of boys and the parents' passion to do things for their kids. Senior wrestling was very limited.

The only clubs with significant senior representation were the Universities and the Forces clubs. "Privat" clubs had very few senior wrestlers. The main contenders when it came to seniors were SADF and Police and even they were regarded on the same level as the provincial sides. SADF had different clubs, i.e. DSC Voortrekkerhoogte, Durban, Bloem, etc. In the run-up towards the SA Championships, the different provinces would have their provincial championships from which their teams were selected for SAs. Similarly, Defence and Police would have their championships from which their teams would have been selected for SAs.

Today, they have clubs all over the show with seniors at most clubs. They have male and female wrestlers of all ages and races at most clubs. Even the SA Veterans are doing exceptional on international level with quite a number of world champions in recent years.

Bear in mind that being an individual sport, there is no hiding behind opinions of who should be in a national team because of this, that or the other quota bullshit. In wrestling, if you want to be the top guy and be in the team, you have to beat the guy who currently is at the top. Finish and klaar.

I have not been involved for ages for obvious reasons but I do follow SA Wrestling through their and by the look of things they are progressing despite all kinds of political, financial and logistical constraints.

I don't know what the level of involvement, or should we say interference, they have from SASCOC and any other shithead organisation.

From a wrestling newsletter after the 2014 Commonwealth Games:

2014 will be remembered by many as the year Min Mbalula coined the phrase—A BUNCH OF WINNERS! Our very own Mpho Madi was added to this group after receiving a nomination for Sportswoman of the year 2014 for her performance in the 2014 Commonwealth Games where she became the first woman wrestler from South Africa to win a medal in wrestling. Mpho was “Razzmatazzed” and having her photo taken with celebs like Gideon Sam and the Blitsbokke’s Cecil Africa. Ashleigh went on to win the award at the South African Sports Awards held in Sandton on the 30th of November but for Mpho, and South African Wrestling, it was truly an honor to have her up there. Mpho was also nominated as a Sports Ambassador by the Department of Sport and Recreation to raise awareness in communities during the 16 days of activism campaign and she remains active in her community. She is still very involved at Kids Haven and regularly visits there to motivate and inspire. Congratulations Mpho!

Circular about the SA Team for the Cadets (Under 16 year olds) World Championships

 

 

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I cannot remember females wrestling in SA in those days. I can remember in the early nineties when we had a meeting at NTvl about allowing females into wrestling. There was a circular from the SA Wrestling Federation about the issue and the different provinces had to submit their views about it. We held a special meeting with the clubs to get their input in order to formulate our view to the SAWF. The issue came into play when we were readmitted to FILA , as United World Wrestling was known then.

It was at the same time when  we were being told the Greco Roman wrestling was going to be introduced in SA as well. At that stage we only had freestyle wrestling and it was going to be a whole new ball game for many. It was also difficult for us officials to adapt to officiating Greco-Roman wrestling because, although there is only a small apparent different between the two styles, it would require quite a different approach from an officiating point of view.

Edited by vlagman

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6 minutes ago, taipan said:

These styles were quite similar. One lot used oil and the other mob used jelly.

Fokof. :36_11_6:TBH, I was wondering if should take you seriously or if you were not up to something like this again. 

Edited by vlagman

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