Our sport is regressing not progressing

2011-11-19 18:33

The Sports and Recreation National Indaba will be held at Gallagher Estate from tomorrow to Tuesday.

The sports and recreation department hopes that the gathering will culminate in the “formulation of the plan that will lead sport and recreation in the country forward, on a unified and successful path into the future.”

This sounds great doesn’t it?

There has been such wide consultation that the Sport & Recreation Plan document to be presented to the delegates for discussion is the 20th draft.

Sounds great!

However, reality is that this will not be the first gathering of its sort.

As Minister Fikile Mbalula told Parliament on Tuesday: “Four years down the line we are sitting here grappling with the same issues as raised in the 2008 national sports indaba.”

Aha! Therein lies the rub Mr Minister. There have been several Izindaba by the department and sporting organisations with very impressive resolutions.

Problem? Implementation.

Which is why our sport is regressing rather than progressing.

Check Olympic sports.

After two silver medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, we grew to five (three gold, one silver and one bronze) in Atlanta, 1996.

Then three in Sydney in 2000 (two silvers and one bronze). Six in Athens 2004 made up of one gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

Our last outing in Beijing in 2008 was a disaster with Khotso Mokoena being the only medallist, bringing home silver from the long jump.

Football has held several Izindaba since the Pickard Commission of Inquiry?in 1996, but our performance at international level has been going down. We have failed to qualify for the last two African Cup of Nations finals.

Implementation and a set of punitive measures to be taken against those who do not stick to the resolutions and time?lines agreed upon, will be very important ingredients.

There are other challenges beyond anybody’s control though Mr Minister, such as: What happens if the ANC Youth League succeeds in getting you elected as the mother body’s secretary general? This is a full-time job that will remove you from your current office.

What guarantees are there that should a new president of the country be elected in 2014, he/she will leave you in your current portfolio to see the plan – that will only be implemented in 2013 – through?
Good luck!

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