Opinion: South African Sport And SASCOC Needs Authentic Leadership! By Cheryl Roberts

25 Feb


Let’s get to the point and unashamedly and unapologetically state that sport officialdom in South Africa is at its lowest, that SASCOC leadership must firstly be called out and challenged and officialdom must be re-visited and refreshed.
Its 2020! Why are people who have been occupying positions within SASCOC for so many years still getting to be officials of SASCOC? Where is the new, fresh, vibrant, visionary officials and leaders who can take SASCOC forward?
SASCOC elections are coming up; will be held soon. Electioneering and campaigning is underway. There are comments and opinions about a ‘coloured cabal’ wanting to take control of SASCOC. There are comments about ‘the same people’ wanting to be elected. There are opinions that one man, who is determined to be SASCOC president and has his campaign in full swing is not ‘the best person’ to lead SASCOC. There are rumours circulating that sports federations are being ‘made promises’ if they vote for a particular man candidate. And then there’s the condemnation by a woman sports official against a man official in the elections race for saying the woman official’s SASCOC nomination should not be supported.
Here are the questions about SASCOC and all those intent on gaining control of SASCOC officialdom:
. Do you understand the depth of crisis of confidence that SASCOC faces?
. Who allowed SASCOC to get into this lowest level of governance with warring factions fighting for control of SASCOC?
. Why do people really want to be on the SASCOC exco and Board?
. Do those who want to to be elected really have ideas and the vision to take forward sport in SA?
. Who is speaking out against the gender inequalities in sport? Why are white-dominated sports teams allowed by SASCOC?

Opinions and suggestions:

. Being on the SASCOC exco and board must be for only one term of four years. Then you get out and go do whatever outside of a SASCOC position but you are not going to stay occupying a SASCOC position, getting paid money and you offer nothing much.

. Where are the Olympic sports officials from swimming, athletics, rowing, triathlon – sports that have brought in SA’s Olympic medals – in SASCOC leadership? These are the officials whom should be serving on SASCOC exco and board. One of these sports should have the SASCOC presidency! They deliver the Olympic medals, world championship and continental titles and know how to organise sport.

. Some women have been part of SASCOC leadership but you rarely hear these women speak out and challenge patriarchal control and male-domination of SASCOC and sport in SA. We want conscious women to be officials and leaders of SASCOC, not women who want positions to further their personal beings.

. Anyone who has already served a four year term on the SASCOC exco and board must not be voted or co-opted back onto SASCOC. You had your time and opportunity and you messed up and allowed SASCOC to slip and slide downwards.
Let’s be honest! SASCOC as a representative sports structure has no respect from South Africa. People laugh at SASCOC at every opportunity, don’t believe in SASCOC and have no faith in SASCOC. There’s opinion that one man and his cabal, intent on gaining control of SASCOC, will further divide sport in SA and doesn’t have the capability to impact positively on SASCOC leadership.
So where does that leave the elections and all the ambitious people, who want positions on SASCOC exco and board? If you’ve been there before on SASCOC, we don’t want you there again. Out you go! If you are coming into SASCOC for business interests, then we don’t want you on SASCOC. For those who want to contest the SASCOC elections, we want you to have the answers on taking sport forward. We want your abilities, your vision and ideas to lead sport in SA. And get this! We don’t want useless officials.

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