While at the cocktail function to bid farewell to Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay in South Africa at Olympic House on Thursday, 13 February 2014 it was heart-warming to see many of the 'regulars' in sports administration..
But isn't that also the problem?
Since much of sport is run by volunteers, an outsider could quickly assume that there are too many people who are 'hogging' all the positions.
It is not uncommon to find a person sitting on the international or continental board, as well as being on the national board as well as desperately trying to run a club.
But is it because the administrator is trying to hold as many positions as possible, or, is it because there are just not enough people today who are prepared to forgo the cash rewards and volunteer both their time and money to a sport and to the development of the athletes?
Certainly, many sports are unable to finance any real form of administration. Many sports too largely depend on the goodwill and largesse of the elected administrators who often pick up the expenses of the association for their own account.
One just has to think of the late Cathy Doyle who for many years worked tirelessly for Central Gauteng Aquatics. Cathy gave when most others would, or could, not.
Yet there are many others, many of whom will go silently into the night!
While the athletes reach for great heights, it is this silent breed of volunteers that keep the whole sport system in South Africa running.
That is why it is so important for every South African to be concerned about keeping the club structure in every sport in South Africa alive.
It is through the club structure that South Africans can influence what happens at every level in sport. It is, in other ways, the only way in which South Africans can vote in sport.
But more than that, participation through clubs, in the sport of your choice, can be most rewarding.
The look at the faces of those selected to represent South Africa is almost pay-back enough.
However, it is the advantages given to the athletes that is the most rewarding and can have the biggest life-changing effects.
As the late Nelson Mandela stated, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair”.
So, if you want to make a difference, take a chance, join a sports club, and get involved!
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