Keynote Address of the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), Honourable Mr FA Mbalula (MP), on the occasion of the Schools Sport Programme Roll-Out - Kick-Off – at Mamelodi Rugby Grounds, Gauteng Province,
Republic of South Africa. 28 March 2012
30 Mar 2012Master of Ceremony, Mr Edgar Mokgadi;
Minister of Basic Education, Honourable Mrs Angie Motshekga;
Deputy Ministers of Sport and Recreation and Basic Education, Mr G. Oosthuizen and Mr E. Surty;
Directors-General of Sport and Recreation and Basic Education, Mr Alec Moemi and Mr Bobby Subrayan;
Representatives from SASCOC and all the National Federations present here today;
Representatives from all Teacher Unions present this afternoon;
School Governing Bodies who are here to grace this event;
Parents and Guardians;
Sport Legends and former players and athletes;
School Children, Learners and Educators present here today;
All Distinguished Guests;
Sport and Education Administrators;
Young Sport persons present here today;
Fellow South Africans;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
When we launched the Schools Sport Programme on 5 November 2011 at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus; we identified the Schools as incubators for sport development and talent identification. On this auspicious day we declared to the country and the world to know that in 2012 we will roll-out the schools sport programme to all the schools of the Republic of South Africa. We identified schools sport as a critical priority and ‘bedrock for identification and development of talent’.
Our detractors convince themselves and declare to all our people to know that this is another lip-service exercise of our government and a pipe-dream that will never see the light of the day in the Republic of South Africa.According to them schools sport died long time ago in the Republic and that South Africa has not produced, yet, capable leaders that can resuscitate schools sport. They also indulged themselves in making some insinuations that schools sport is a no-go area as there are many contending forces with inherent contradictions and selfish motives in the delivery of sport in schools; and that it will take a decisive and strong leadership to put on its shoulders such a huge and daunting responsibility and task to deliver a vibrant schools sport programme for the country.
However on that fateful day of the official launch of the Schools Sport on 5 November 2011, together with the Ministry of Basic Education, we promised the people of our country that:
“The time for fights is over; the only time that remains is to serve these children to the best of our ability. We must put children first in everything that we will do as we leave this venue this afternoon.We must put the interest of the child first and think carefully to whatever we do; every action we take; whether it is in the best interest of the child”.
We pledged to our people that we will officially roll-out the Schools Sport programme at the beginning of 2012. We did so fully aware of the battles ahead towards the official kick-off of the schools sport programme.Being fully aware of the battles ahead, both the Ministry of Basic Education and Sport & Recreation raised the following:
“We are raising this being fully aware of the road we traversed to this day; the thorny road and thunderstorms which were in actual fact not in the best interest of the child but perhaps in the best interest of certain individuals”.
This approach from both the Ministries was a single honour and commitment towards a delivery of a vibrant and diligent schools sport programme in South Africa.This commitment towards a vibrant and successful schools sport programme was underpinned by both departments when we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to guide the delivery of schools sport in all the schools of the Republic of South Africa.
Since then work began towards the ultimate roll-out of the schools sport programme.Everybody came on board and a Joint Task Team comprising of officials between the Departments of Basic Education and Sport & Recreation was established to oversee the actual roll-out of the schools sport programme in the Republic.
Parallel to this work, the Department of Basic Education proactively Gazetted a Draft Schools Sport Policy inviting discussion and public comments from all stakeholders in sport, education and recreation as well as from the broader community.
Among other things the Draft Schools Sport Policy ought to clarify issues related to governance and custodianship of schools sport in South Africa which have been a borne of contention between and among the stakeholders in sport, education and recreation.This policy will also help us to deal decisively with the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in the delivery of schools sport.
We are therefore happy to see that process coming into the final conclusion and that we are here today to witness the actual ‘kick-off’ of the roll-out campaign of the schools sport programme.
In the same vein, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am also delighted this afternoon to announce that the Draft Concept Document for Sport Focus Schools has been developed and is out for consultation within the sport, education and recreation fraternity, communities and stakeholders. I am also pleased to announce that the Guidelines for the Establishment of the Schools Sport Codes Structures are completed and finalised; and ready for implementation as of April 2012. We have already completed the process of the invitation for registration of all schools to take part in the Schools Sport Leagues and Competition. We have managed to register approximately ten thousands (10 000) schools to date for participation in the 2012 Schools Sport Leagues and Competitions. We are also looking forward to negotiating with the DBE to make it compulsory for every child registering in school to choose at least two or three school sport code from 2013 going forward.
Indeed, “we are looking forward to a successful year in 2012 when we roll-out this schools sport programme. South Africa will never be the same again”.
As a matter of fact, “10 to 20 years time this programme must put us in the same league of Australia, the UK and the US …”
If we do this right and with diligence; armed with a costed and budgeted National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP); we will reach the years 2022 and 2032 with a formidable and strong Team South Africa filled with strong and excellent athletes who will make South Africa a truly winning nation.
With a solid athletic and sporting base groomed in schools in the schools sport programme, there is nothing that can stand in the way of South Africa and its athletes and prevent us from conquering the world of sport and recreation and ultimately excel and succeed.
It is true that countries like the UK, Australia and the US depends entirely on the Schools Sport Programmes to develop and nurture most of their young athletes and bring up talent that will eventually be pumped into their national teams with a pool of ‘firebrand athletes’ always ready to compete on the global sporting stage.
South Africa can do this.South Africa have capabilities to do this.We can all deliver on this in 10 to 20 years to come.Only if we can pledge today that:
Our success in this regard will be measured when both departments of Basic Education and Sport & Recreation continuously create best practices regarding the implementation of this programme. At the same time, we will measure ourselves when we are able to produce the best among the best of the best in the world through schools sport. We must all take the tune from the spirit and determination displayed by the Department of Basic Education together with the Department of Sport and Recreation in their agility to fast-track the delivery of this ambitious, but, attainable programme.
- The country as whole will treat schools sport as a national priority.
- Schools Sport Codes and their structures are supported and nurtured at all levels of the South African Sport System.
- All South African schools are offered an opportunity to participate in the schools sport Leagues and Competitions; and that all schools regardless of geographical location, affordability, and quintile are obliged to participate in the schools sport programme.
- All school-going children in the Republic participate in sport regardless of race, colour, creed, gender, geographical location, class and sexual orientation.
- All other schools sport activities and projects are aligned and integrated into a one, single, united Schools Sport programme for South Africa schools.
- And, physical education being universally practiced and implemented in all schools of our country.
Fellow South Africans, we are happy to be informed that all our National Sport Federations (NFs) and Schools Sport Code Structures are currently streamlining all their projects in order to deliver on this programme. This attitude will definitely go a long way to make schools sport a great success for the benefit of the youth of our country.
In the same token, a Capacity Building Programme has been designed by the SRSA, DBE together with SASCOC and CATHSSETA to capacitate all our teachers with necessary skills in coaching, administration and technical officiating. The first batch of educators for skills training will be recruited from those schools that have already enrolled to take part in the 2012 Schools Sport Leagues and Competitions.
We are currently mobilising society behind the vision of the SRSA and DBE of delivering a sound and successful schools sport programme in 2012 and beyond. We are currently mobilising the business community of which the majority has promised to come on board sooner in order to contribute towards a successful roll-out of the schools sport programme in 2012 and beyond.
I therefore want to take this opportunity to thank all sponsors including the Lottery Board who made it possible for us to roll-out this programme.At the same time I would like to thank all the members of the JOC who, out of all odds, have made this day a beautiful day for all of us .I will further like to thank the sport legends who continue to assist us with coaching clinics and especially those who joined us today.Special thanks go to all the schools and learners who have taken time off their classes to be with us this afternoon.
I will finally like to thank the Minister and Deputy Minister of Basic Education for their commitment to this project and their matured leadership qualities that enabled us to deliver on this promise to rollout schools sport to all the school going-children of the Republic in 2012.
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
30 Mar 2012
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