Fikile Mbalula reveals grand plans to honour sports stars

2014-08-06 17:12

South Africa is living in an “age of hope”, declared Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula as he revealed elaborate plans to honour athletes who excelled at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Speaking today at the South African Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee (Sascoc) headquarters in Johannesburg, Mbalula said in his department’s quest to reward excellence not only will Team SA be honoured on Friday, but also the Proteas national cricket team, as well as boxer Zolani “Last Born” Tete.

The Proteas reclaimed the number one Test ranking after their 1-0 away series win against Sri Lanka, and Tete recently brought back the IBF Super Fly Weight title from Japan.

“On Friday we will be giving recognition and welcoming back athletes who have hoisted the country’s flag high,” Mbalula said.

The athletes will be transported from the Sascoc offices to Gandhi Square in an open-top bus. From there they will proceed to Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, where the festivities will conclude.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam said his organisation was very proud of what the athletes had achieved.

“This is a culmination of a plan we laid in 2011,” he said. “All these achievements are not happening in isolation but are part of the national sports plan.”

He thanked the minister and his department for their support.

Team SA won 40 medals at the Games, a jump from the 33 they collected the last time around. They finished seventh on the medals table out of 71 countries.

South Africans have been urged to wear the national sports colours on Friday.

Friday’s programme:

11am – Team SA leaves from the South African Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee headquarters to Gandhi Square

12.30pm – Athletes leave Gandhi Square for Primedia offices at 5 Gwen Lane

3.30pm – Team SA leaves Primedia offices for Nelson Mandela Square

4.30pm to 7pm – Official welcoming and honouring of Team SA medallists, and acknowledgement of Proteas and Zolani Tete

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