SA, China strengthen sport relations

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Minister Kodwa and Governor Zhao Long.

South Africa and China's Fujian province are on a path to solidify sport and cultural ties.

South Africa's Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa hosted the Governor of China’s Fujian province, Zhao Long, at the Freedom Park Heritage Site and Museum in Pretoria on Monday.

The meeting sought to reaffirm the strong ties between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, and to deepen sport and cultural ties between South Africa and Fujian.   

“Our collaboration in sport reflects the broader partnership between South Africa and China. It is a partnership built on mutual respect, shared goals, and a commitment to the well-being and development of our people,” the Minister said on Monday.

Kodwa expressed gratitude and appreciation to China for participating in the BRICS Ministers of Sport Meeting, which was held in Durban in July, as well as the 15th BRICS Summit, which was held in Johannesburg in August.

The Minister shared that South Africa is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Chinese teams for the upcoming BRICS Games, which are set to take place in the country from 18 - 21 October 2023.

“The BRICS Games will showcase various sporting disciplines, including tennis, table tennis, beach volleyball, swimming and badminton. We have heard of the impressive badminton prowess of China's Fujian province and hope to see an exhilarating competition between our teams in this sport during the Games,” Kodwa said.

While Fujian is known for being strong in badminton, the province is also home to sportswear company, Kelme, which has supported some sports teams in South Africa.

Governor Long shared that Fujian has seen extensive development and growth, and that the province has invaluable assets in theory and practice.

“The Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China enjoy a remarkable and enduring relationship. I am encouraged by the continued support by Fujian entities, such as Kelme, to support our sports clubs to improve the sporting sector,” Kodwa said. –