RED-LETTER DAY FOR VOLLEYBALL SOUTH AFRICA
It was a “Red-Letter Day for Volleyball South Africa (VSA) when the newly appointed Minister of Sport and Recreation, the Honourable Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi announced during his maiden budget speech in parliament on Friday, 26 May that volleyball has being declared as the country’s “Sport of the Year”, 2017.
According to VSA Vice President, Kriba Reddy netball, basketball and hockey were the previous recipients of the national accolade that recognises good governance and transformation at all levels of the code of sport.
“Arising out of the Sports Indaba in 2011 the Government’s White Paper on Sport identified sixteen (16) priority codes of sport which included the so called ” television sports ” rugby, soccer and cricket that have a huge following in our country. The White paper also spoke to the establishment of sport focused schools which included academies in each province. With volleyball making it onto the priority list it was a matter of time before Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) gave our sport the nod to be the recipient of their assistance in taking the sport to new heights.
” Through their policy the Government’s plan is to increase the profile of the code chosen as the “Sport of the Year”. This includes the setting up of a semi professional league that will get television coverage and hopefully attract corporate sponsorship. This plan is for both indoor and beach volleyball, elaborated Reddy.
To fast track the process VSA President, Anthony Mokoena and Secretary General Michael Makhubela engaged in several discussions with SRSA Director General (DG) Alec Moemi on the logistics of running the provincial based semi professional league. They agreed, inter alia, that the league will be run over a six week period from October to November this year in Kwa Zulu Natal.
Mokoena went on to say that the establishment of sport focused schools as stated in the Government’s White Paper will greatly benefit the sport as they will become a nursery for the provincial teams. He pointed out that the Western Cape Sport focused school for volleyball in Kuils River in Cape Town is a case in point.
” The learners live at the school’s modern hostel and have access to excellent facilities to up skill themselves after school hours. The school provides the services of qualified male and female coaches, strength conditioning at the school’s gymnasium and have a medical support team that includes a biokinetistis , physiotherapist and a doctor on call. The learners whose ages range from fourteen to seventeen years play in the Cape’s schools’ league and in the community based league to give them competition experience,” added Mokoena.
(L to R)
Anthony Mokoena (President, Volleyball South Africa); Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi (Minister of Sport and Recreation); Alec Moemi (Director General Sport and Recreation)