As the home of champions, it is imperative that Gauteng focuses on producing its own home grown talent and the Gauteng Sports Confederation was vital to that mandate says MEC Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation Faith Mazibuko in her speech at the Gauteng Sports Confederation strategic session.
Addressing the GSC executive committee and staff at its planning workshop on 14 December 2016 MEC Mazibuko raised concern that most of the talent that the province prides itself with are not bred in Gauteng and it is now time to find home grown talent and nurture it.
MEC Mazibuko urged the GSC to invest more of its time in projects that would see the development of all respective sporting codes in all districts and wards that make up the province.
“If Gauteng is a home of champs, where are our champs found? It is the job of GSC to produce the professionals who will become the champions of tomorrow.
“This can be achieved by actively identifying talent in the communities and putting to use the facilities provided to produce world class sports men. The work of GSC is huge as it is time to pay honour to Gauteng’s very own sports men and women.”
MEC Mazibuko outlined a pyramid structure that she believed could form the platform for achieving the province’s vision.
“At the base of the pyramid is the mass base, where we get people interested in the different sporting codes. Going up; there needs to be great emphasis on school sports where talent can be identified and nurtured from a young age,” she said.
With the 16 school sporting codes including indigenous games, there are guarantees of champions emerging from there, MEC Faith Mazibuko elaborated.
“This allows kids to grow with the love of the given sport. It is time to bring back structures in schools that will allow learner participation in their chosen sporting codes to groom these children from a young age in their very own communities.”
She also focused on the role of coaches, stating that these should not be overlooked as it is very important. The MEC said she was confident that the GSC could build these relationships between the community, coaches, teachers and young sport professional at school level.
Once done with school, these future champs can now move into the third stage of the pyramid, the amateur level where they can join clubs found in the community.
“It is very important that the GSC to ensure these club structures exist and to teach them sports administration and provide them with necessary help to achieve the end goal. Once GSC gets this right, sports in the province can easily move into professional level, with GSC having produced Gauteng grown talent,” Mazibuko said.
In conclusion MEC Mazibuko encouraged GSC to take it upon itself to position sports in the province, and to be more involved, reach out to amateurs and help them out, apply disciplinary measures that will contribute towards progress.
“Most importantly, let us place most of our focus in schools and increase the number of sporting schools of excellence in the province,” she said.