Speech at the media launch of the National Sport Indaba
Mr Gert C Oosthuizen MP, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa
5 Apr 2011
Mr Fikile Mbalula MP, Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa
All protocol observed
It is my honour to address you at this media launch of the Sports Indaba which is one of the most important upcoming events in the history of South African sport.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us dream. Let us dream of a South African sport sector where:
- We have an effective and adequately resourced sport system in place that meets the needs of our sportspeople at all levels of participation.
- South Africa is acknowledged as a leader in world sport and recreation.
- At least 50 percent of all South Africans participate in sport or active recreation.
- Our sport and recreation researchers are admired internationally.
- 80 percent of our priority sports federations are attaining and/or maintaining the top 3 positions in world rankings.
- Our transformation agenda is achieved – starting line.
- The 2010 nation-building spirit is maintained in all major events.
- South Africa is a choice destination for major events and sports tourism.
- Physical education is practiced in all schools as a standalone compulsory subject and school sport is compulsory on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings with children participating where we broaden the talent pool for selectors to select from.
- Sufficient and accessible sports facilities are well maintained and fully utilised by communities.
- Sport and recreation is making a more significant contribution to the country’s GDP, then currently.
- We are recognised as a country with an ethical and drug-free sporting society.
- Good corporate governance prevails in South African sport.
- Where sport visibly contributes to development, peace keeping and peace building.
- Where sport actively address substance abuse in the community through partnerships and
- Where sport is used to keep children out of court and to rehabilitate where necessary!
For some of us this may sound like day dreaming, but within Sport and Recreation South Africa we believe that this vision for 2020 can be realised.
As a first step towards achieving our vision we have finalised the updating of the White Paper on sport and recreation that will be submitted to Cabinet shortly. So, the Policy is there!
Under the leadership of Minister Mbalula we have developed a “Road Map” for the department and have ensured alignment with the key policy issues as captured in the White Paper.
To assist with the implementation of the White Paper we have started the process of developing a National Sport Plan. It is from Policy to Practice; This Sport Plan will manifest the implementation plans of the sport and recreation policy directives of government.
Underpinned by the White Paper, the national sport plan will significantly contribute to addressing the key strategic issues that can take South African sport to the next level.
Worldwide sport strategies are focused on increasing levels of participation in sport and recreation, as well as achieving success in high-profile sports. The benefits of this are reflected in a document entitled a Case for Sport, published by our department in December 2009 (will be updated).
The national sport plan will focus on two internationally recognised pillars for any successful sport system as well as the enablers required.
No country can expect to achieve and sustain success at the elite level without a strong participation base in the community, because that is where every champion has their beginning.
Furthermore, the social benefits derived from participation in sport and recreation are numerous and well documented. “As a tool for health-enhancing physical activity, the sports movement has a greater influence than any other social movement.” SRSA fully agrees with this statement of the European Commission as captured in its 2007 White Paper on Sport.
The National Sport Plan will pave the way for activities to ensure that as many South Africans as possible have access to sport and recreation, especially those from disadvantaged communities.
Some of the key areas here will include recreation, clubs, mass participation and grassroots sport.
The world over, sport achievers have become known for giving the country they represent an international visibility and reputation. This is not attained in other areas of their social, political or economic life. It is known that personal pride in the achievements of a national sporting team is a powerful incentive towards uniting the people of a country.
We also know that the use of the flag and national anthem at international matches instills pride and loyalty. It inculcates a sense of belonging.
The National Sport Plan must create an environment conducive for our athletes to excel and to increase our international sport successes. In achieving this, we will also contribute to the nation building spirit we experienced during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Key components will include: talent identification and development; scientific support services; national and international sporting events and our national emblem and colours.
To enable South Africa to achieve identified outcomes and to facilitate the effective delivery of the focus areas a range of strategic enablers need to be in place. These include critical focus areas such as: school sport; the role of tertiary institutions and the military and police services; the empowerment of the sport sector through education and training; the important role of the coaches and athletes associations as well as an academy system, the availibility of facilities and a well resourced information centre; sound international relations;the concept of a sportshouse for South Africa to secure adequate resources for South African sport; and to align the existing resources: In short, we must make every rand work to the benefit of all our people.
Other areas that will be addressed in the national sport plan include transformation; a score card; sports tourism; sport for peace and development; sport and the environment; drug-free sport; a code of ethics and the prioritisation of sport federations. To this end, clear policy directives will be provided.
In summary the national sports plan will outline an implementation strategy for the policy framework for sport and recreation as captured in the White Paper.
In other words the White Paper determines the “what” and the national sports plan the “how”.
National sport indaba
To action the plans from policy to practice, Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) will be hosting a national sports indaba in August 2011.
At this indaba the sporting sector will finalise the national sports plan to guide South African sport and to streamline implementation towards common objectives.
The envisaged theme of this indaba is from “From policy to practice” and the tagline: “More than just playing”.
The main objectives of the indaba are:
- to clarify and action the policy directives emanating from the revised White Paper that also captures the strategic directions of the road map
- to facilitate a collective buy-in from all stakeholders to the national sport plan
- to streamline implementation towards common objectives
- to elevate public awareness of the national sport plan by means of an effective and targeted media campaign.
The draft national sports plan will be discussed at nine provincial indabas scheduled for July 2011. Feedback from the public (website) and the provincial indabas will be evaluated and the national sport plan will be updated accordingly.
Together with inputs from the Portfolio Committee, Select Committee and South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the National Federations we hope to finalise and approve the first ever official national sport plan for the country at the national sports indaba scheduled to take place in August 2011.
Minister Mbalula, without a coordinated, integrated and aligned sport system within which all component parts are focused towards a common set of goals and objectives, the potential value of sport to the South African society cannot be fully realised.
All sectors must buy-in and commit to the strategic direction that will emerge from the national sports indaba. The responsibilities of all role-players are substantial and it is clear that they will never be adequately realised without formidable partnerships in place.
Furthermore, it is important to recognise that sport on its own cannot fulfil all the sports development needs.
To this end SRSA will liaise with other relevant government departments and sectors. The aim is to establish strategic alliances ensuring the appropriate coordination and alignment of programmes, structures and strategies.
The dream articulated in my introduction can become a reality. Let us all work in a spirit of ubuntu in hosting the national sports indaba to finalise the national sport plan. It is our belief that in doing this and through proper implementation and by regularly monitoring and evaluating our progress, we can realise our vision for 2020.
The winning Nation - will walk tall – for by 2020, the respect we will have earned as competitors, as hosts and pioneers in sport will have further cemented the rainbow nation!
I thank you.
Source: Sport and Recreation South Africa
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
5 Apr 2011
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