Political Statement of the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa, Honourable Mr Fikile Mbalula (MP), on the occasion of the Press Conference of the South African Sports Awards, Sun City, Superbowl, North West 2011. Sheraton Hotel, Johannesburg, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
26 Oct 2011
Deputy Minister of SRSA, Mr Gert Oosthezuin;
Ministers and Deputy Ministers of RSA;
Directors-General representing government departments;
Sports men and women present here;
Local and International Distinguished Guests;
Media Organisations in our midst;
Ladies and Gentlemen
Fellow South Africans;
On the 14th of January 2011, the Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) announced its intention to host and hold the Annual Sports Award Ceremonies in recognition and honour of those sports persons who displayed excellence and optimal performance in the field of play. Since then we agreed with all the Members of Executive Councils (MECs) for Sport and Recreation to set in motion similar ceremonies from local, district and provincial levels.
As we celebrate excellence and achievement by recognizing our champions and luminaries, it is befitting for us to equally celebrate and congratulate all families who sacrificed time and enjoyment with their loved ones and decided to donate them to the nation to participate in sport for the benefit of the country in a mission to promote the “Flag” and the vision for “An Active and Winning Nation”.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to call upon everyone in this house to stand up and applaud all members of these families and South Africa as country that gave birth to these martyrs.
This is embodied in the notion that critical factors like these provide a new paradigm that has a potential to guide and direct a new thinking and thesis of the whole sport community in its total functionality, including the SRSA and South African government.
This in no doubt will position our sport landscape in a positive paradigm to successfully implement our “Road Map into Optimal Performance and Functional Excellence” framework that will shape and characterise the sport and recreation discourse in South Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen, this year we celebrate the first anniversary of the hosting of the biggest international spectacular event, the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup and sixteenth anniversary of the 1995 Rugby World Cup extravaganza, which has been ever displayed in the African soil.
Today we celebrate the success of this gift, not only for soccer and rugby loving South Africans but for all sport loving people of the Republic and the continent. It is obvious that we have presented South Africa, Africa and the world with tournaments of world class African stature.
We did this fully aware that we were challenged by the legacies of apartheid that distorted access to sport and recreation for many in our country. The disparities in the distribution of sport and recreation facilities are still a hindrance in many regards. Grassroots sport and recreation development in our country is still a mammoth task for us to develop young people into high performance and quality athletes.
However, with this baggage at our disposal, we have managed to stage a plethora of internationally applauded events in Africa and contributed immensely to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The phenomenal success of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, 2003 Cricket World Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted amidst the vibrancy of Africa and the colour and diversity of our people which gives credence to sport and recreation as an instrument with so much zeal and zest to inspire and unite the masses of our people and create cohesion and patriotism.
It is in the same token that we are reinvigorated by our strength and readiness of our national teams to go and conquer the world and represent our nation in the foreign lands. This is to support our sporting combatants in their endeavours to achieve excellence.
It is in this regard that the Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) we will, on Sunday 21st, 2011 host the SA Sports Awards as a token of appreciation to thousands of sports men and women in our country.
This exercise is to reward our successful sports men and women for their outstanding efforts to make South Africans proud on and off the sporting field. We do this to say thank you to their hard work to keep the enthusiasm of sport alive in the spirits and minds of all South Africans.
We further do this to honour and recognise outstanding personalities, individuals and teams/clubs that, at all odds, have excelled since November 2009 to 30th April 2011. These Awards will carry sixteen (16 ) categories which will recognise individuals both males and females, people with disabilities, federations, continental participants, community builders, indigenous games, media and outstanding personalities in the field of sport and recreation.
We are hopeful that these individuals and federations will unwaveringly sponsor and pledge their time and efforts to work together with SRSA to provide a strategic direction to reposition and turn sporting fraternity and; sport and recreation landscape in South Africa and try by all means at their disposals to engender systematic efficiencies in a move to encourage functional operations, and accelerated service delivery.
In the same vein, we believe that these outstanding men and women will also help to provide a compendium to transform the sport and recreation society into an agile, athletic and responsive community, poised to accelerate unity of purpose, social cohesion, patriotism and nationhood.
Our Theme for this year’s awards is “Today’s Leaders, Tomorrow’s Legends”.
We would like to iterate that we host these Awards to promote participation and patriotism amongst our country men and women. We do this to rally, galvanise and support all our sports personalities in their endeavors to excel and succeed.
I want to repeat that, “the most important thing is the face of a South African Flag and Colours during each and every South Africa’s invasion of the Foreign Land in Sport and Recreation activity”. This, indeed, does our country proud!
From now on let’s celebrate our sportspersons and give them the support they deserve.
I thank you!
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
26 Oct 2011
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