Speech of the Minister Of Sport And Recreation – Hon. Mr. FA Mbalula – On The Occasion Of The ABSA official announcement of sponsorship of the Springboks (Sa National Rugby Team)
3 Feb 2011
“Sport Inclusivity and Development: The Future is Today”
Minister Trevor Manuel;
President of SARU;
CEO of SARU;
CEO of ABSA;
Board members of ABSA;
Thank you for the invitation to this august gathering of continued sponsorship for our national Rugby team, Amabokoboko, the crown jewel our country.Rugby is a sport for all the people of South Africa. It is game that, like all sporting codes, should assist in fostering and rekindling our vision of unity of purpose, integrated development and social cohesion and inclusivity.
These are values that are enshrined in our Constitution which transcend gender or geographical; colour or creed; status or strata. It is this historical bound of purpose that we should always consort around as social and economic partners, and forge a common and shared vision.
As Rev Vicky Elder, a Senior Minister at Unity of Montery congregation, observes that, “When the world was separated into various tribes and nations, each developed its own story, reflecting the wisdom of their times and environment. Today, to survive, we need a new story, one that is inclusive of all of humanity and, even more importantly, that transcends human isolationism and honours the entire earth community."
Rev Elder’s sentiments resonate with our strategic objectives in the Department of Sport and Recreation, that we seek to contribute towards an active and robust nation, which is athletic and resolute in its views about integrated sports development, nationhood, and cognitive consciousness.
This congregation will surely represent another milestone in how business, government and civil society could work together to deepen macro-social stability, economic integration, and balanced development. Together we must continue to constructing a collective and common good for all: a good that would anchor a balanced, inclusive and sustainable livelihood for all.
The Department of Sports and Recreation South Africa held a Strategic Planning Session on 10- 12 January 2011, and emerged with a comprehensive plan – a Road Map - to take sport and recreation to greater heights.This plan epitomises our “Road Map to Optimal Performance and Functional Excellence”. It is an instructive campus that will assist us to navigate typical and atypical topographies in our quest for wholesale transformation and sustenance in sport and recreation.
This Road Map is anchored of six strategic imperatives, namely,
2. Schools Sport
3. Institutional Facilities
4. Mass Mobilization
Without prejudice, and in the context of the today’s event, let me underscore transformation, sports development and schools sports.
The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa will lead and drive real transformation process, and continuously evaluate progress, working together with provincial department and federations.
School sport is a bedrock for sport mass participation, social cohesion and one crucial anti-juvenile delinquency imperative.In this regard, the Department undertakes, among others, to
a) take charge of school sport, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Basic Education by end of March 2011, in order make schools accessible for participation and development in sport.
b) introduce compulsory school sport to all schools, and also the resuscitation of the concept of “Wednesday sport” or Sports Woensdag Dag as was the case in the past.
c) introduce compulsory physical education to all schools.
d) improve institutional and structural mechanisms for co-ordination and accessibility at national, provincial and local levels,
e) improve interaction and participation of all social partners.
There is no doubt that rugby has grown in its popularity in all our communities. Our biggest challenge remains ensuring that this wonderful game is not only accessible to all, but also seen in real terms to be transforming and transformed in form, content pictography and representation.
Whence, the involvement of ABSA as a loyal rugby supporter underscores a historical and necessary investment in sport in general and rugby in particular.This work is commendable, and initiatives of this kind will undoubtedly assist government and other role players to making this sport reachable to all.
By the same token, there should be a targeted developmental plan to investing in school and community sport in order to succeed to open up access to rugby as a sport, and further invest in sports facilities where they are mostly needed.
The logical outcome of investing more resources at a grassroots sport will assist in building stronger and more competitive national teams like the Springboks.Equally, we realize combating macro-social malice of idling minds from thinking criminality and harming of our economic prospects. As we say, sport is the biggest enemy of criminality and related tendencies.
We will rally, as we do, hundred percent behind all teams, especially in this case amaBhokobhoko when competing in the world sporting arena.Equally, AmaBhokobhoko should rally behind our nation and government in its effort of achieving a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous sport in South Africa.
We are moved by the corporate stance of ABSA when they say, “What ABSA cannot shirk from, what any South African who believes in building a better, more prosperous country should not shirk from, is the challenge of building a more inclusive society?If as a country we are to share a better tomorrow, then today we must build that country together.”
We are convinced that by following this example, many private sector companies can undergo a self-reflection of their values and responsibilities; and show unwavering interest in sport and recreation due to its inherent role in national building, social cohesion and unity.
We are pleased by this collective wisdom of ABSA Board members to include the Sevens team to the whole sponsorship matrix.This has shown your deep knowledge of the developmental trajectory of the country, especially in sport and recreation.The sponsorship of the Sevens team is underpinned by the notion of building our teams from grassroots levels and this can help the Team to continue to grow in stature in the Africa and the world.
We must support SARU and other Federations to make all South Africans feel free to participate to all sporting activities and fill the stadiums in numbers when our teams compete.We want to see our kids filling all the sporting codes in schools and communities without fear or favour.This should be an integrated approach that involves everyone in the field of sport.
We must further applaud the brilliant work done by BokSmart in providing all rugby coaches, referees, players, and administrators with the correct knowledge, skills, and leadership capabilities to ensure that safety and best practice principles are incorporated into all aspect of rugby in South Africa.
Having said that, we must re-emphasize our appreciation to ABSA for sponsoring the Springbok and the Sevens.This gesture from you is the strategic display of your commitment into patriotism and forward thinking attitude towards sport in this country.
This is an enomous contribution that needs to be supported by all rugby loving people, to further transform and turn the Boks into ever-lasting Champions of the World.This shows, without doubt, that through a high standard and excellent private sector investment in sport and a sharing of a common vision we can go a long way.
For us rugby remains and will always be the jewel of our national pride, and collective leadership is paramount; and our people respond to unity, as it was our unity that brought down the past system of marginalisation.
As Aristotle says, "He who has never learned to humble cannot be a good commande".
This mission calls for a combined conscience and collective wisdom, which will serve as a spine for our collective drive by all to succeed.
Albert Einstein would have put it better when he says ‘learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow, but the important this is that never stop improving.’
Equally and in concurrence I say, the future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created, - created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creatin
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
3 Feb 2011
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