Gauteng Sports MEC Faith Mazibuko has given her full support to the Gauteng Sports Confederation and also praised the organization for its work in sports development in the province.
Speaking at the GSC’s Annual General Meeting held in Johannesburg on Saturday, MEC Mazibuko said that sports participation was strongly linked to building social cohesion and social capital among young people and adults in communities.
As many as 40 sports federations in the province are affiliated to the GSC which assist them in training, development and support through it more than 25 programmes it runs in the province.
“Through sport we can give these young people the confidence to become involved in the decision making processes that affect their lives as they venture into adulthood. For adults it is a welcome tool to assist in the daily pressures of modern day life,” said MEC Mazibuko.
She said the GSC has made an outstanding contribution to strengthening the participation of young people and adults in sport in Gauteng. She said government funding was allowing the GSC to do its work from its offices here in Johannesburg reaching out to all corners of the province and, of course, beyond to its provincial counterparts as well as its mother body SASCOC.
“As a partner and friend of the GSC, the Gauteng government is pleased to be supporting their programmes and thereby the development of people from all walks of life,” she said.
She said the department recognised the current challenges facing the GSC and it five district sport councils, especially the relationships with the municipalities of the five districts and their local municipalities.
“We commit ourselves to more robust engagement with these municipalities to ensure that the message filters down to all government employees working in the various sport departments, that the development on sport in all municipalities is key to a Healthy Nation and that we should ensure that there is a sound working relationship to proper development takes place,” she said.
MEC Mazibuko highlighted the GSC partnership with the Gauteng Gambling Board to revamp sports facilities particularly in disadvantaged communities, as a shining light of how partnerships can make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.
“Who, for example, would have thought that squash would prove so popular in Soweto that an entire facility would need to be built to accommodate all the participants,” she said. “Now due to this programme the Gazankulu Primary School boasts an impressive new facility that symbolises what a difference sport can make if we just dared to dream,” she said.
MEC Mazibuko also welcomed the organisation’s vision to create a Gauteng Sports Museum as well as a Hall of Fame to honor our sporting heroes and ensure the legacy of iconic sporting contributions were recognised for generations to come.
“These dreams and efforts no doubt supports nation-building and aims to enhance links between communities, and promote community cohesion at the local and national levels,” she said.