Dept pushes drive for mass participation in sport

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - The Department of Sports and Recreation is expected to continue promoting mass participation in sport and recreation during this financial year.

"The spending focus over the [Medium Term Expenditure Framework] MTEF period will continue to be on promoting mass participation in sport and recreation, mainly through the mass sport and recreation participation programme grant, and on the development of sport at various levels by supporting school sport, club development and sport federations," the department's Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen said.

The deputy minister was briefing reporters in Cape Town on Tuesday on the pre-Budget Vote Debate.

He said during this financial year, the transformation charter should also be completed in order to roll out institutional mechanisms projects. "These include facilities, academies, sport councils and coaching."

Oosthuizen said the funding in this fiscal year will also be utilised to increase support to national sport federations, talent development through scientific support services, new office accommodation and increased operational costs at Boxing South Africa.

On another matter, Oosthuizen said the recently unveiled national sports indaba by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula will give sport and recreation size and shape. 

The national indaba will be held in August in Gauteng, but in a venue and date is yet to be confirmed. He said it will be preceded by the nine provincial indabas in July. 

"The main aim of the National Indaba is to produce a National Sports Plan for the country, which will assist us in taking the portfolio to greater visible heights. We are encouraged that our sports men and women, sponsors and role players will help in the process to have this engagement succeed," Oosthuizen said. 

He further said this year, South Africa will be hosting more than 50 international events, but the most recognisable one is the 123rd General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee. 

Meanwhile, the department has also welcomed the move by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Supersport to introduce a programme of twinning schools with PSL teams.

"We are grateful to the investment to the programme by the Premier Soccer League and Supersport, availing a programme of twining schools with PSL teams. 

"We have met with the Department of Basic Education on School Sport programme. This is an important vehicle that has to deal with the important issues of transformation and talent identification for community and high performance. We are happy to announce the reshaping of school sport will be launched in May," he said. 

The department will present its Budget Vote on Wednesday. - BuaNews

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