Private sector partnerships with business and provincial parastatals are vital to developing sports across the province, according to the Gauteng Sports Council.
Addressing the Gauteng Sports Council Strategic Planning Workshop at Misty Hills earlier this month, GSC President Barry Hendricks told delegates that the council would from 2015 seek to partner with dynamic entities that could assist in aiding the development of sport across the province.
The Gauteng Sports Council was formed in 2010 as part of a SASCOC initiative to better serve provincial and local sports development and facilitation in line with the National Sports and Recreation Programme. The council overseas and facilitates sports development and participation from grass roots to professional sport in schools, clubs, leagues and federations across its regional constituencies which includes Sedibeng, Johannesburg, West Rand, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.
“Over the past year we have had significant assistance from the likes of the Gauteng Gambling Board, National Lottery and the Gauteng Department of Sport and Recreation that has allowed us to improve and grow the access to sport for a variety of communities,” said Hendricks. “Going forward we will seek to build relationships with businesses community and government parastatals so that we can achieve our core objectives of developing and facilitating sports participation for communities across Gauteng.”
At the meeting, Hendricks also identified the increasing use of its office facilities to federations; the creation of special programmes and greater involvement with recreational programmes as being part of the broader goal of facilitating sports development in the province. Hendricks said that among the council’s successes has been the implementation of partnerships with stakeholders such as provincial government, increasing funding, professionalising the organisation; and sound leadership.
“We have achieved many of our objectives over the past 12 months much of which has been built on acquiring trained staff as well as our accountability, transparency and trust,” he said. “Nonetheless there is much more that needs our attention and we can only achieve these target with the right partners on board.”
Among the challenges identified at the meeting was a lack of consultation with the province’s Integrated Development Plan, a lack of funding to district sports councils; misinformation and sports councils not performing in general.
To address these pressing issues Hendricks told the meeting that the council would embark upon a process of creating greater awareness among stakeholders; improved liaison and ongoing consultation with sport councils as well as developing the council’s capacity to further assist schools, clubs and federations in Gauteng.
“Our province has highly engaged sporting communities and our role will be to continue to support these established areas while at the same time facilitating and equipping less privileged ones to also develop and maintain thriving, effective sports activity. We love to reach a state whereby anyone with an interest in participating in sport has the option to do so.”