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Role of sport in society scrutinised at conference

By in Sport, Leisure on September 27, 2016

The third Provincial Conference on Sport will focus on the role sport plays in society when it takes place from September 30 to October 1 at NMMU’s George campus.

Organised jointly by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, George Municipality, Eden Sport Council and NMMU, the theme of the conference is Olympism.

The programme is structured around the four sub-themes of “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, “Diversity and Inclusion”, “Governance, Leadership and Administration” and “Infrastructure and the Role of Government”.

Madibaz Sport director Yoliswa Lumka said Olympism meant having a balanced lifestyle, especially between sport, education and culture.

She said sport should not be seen in isolation, but as an integral part of developing people holistically.

“Normally when these conversations happen it is just the sport practitioners in the room,” she said.

“We want to have this conversation with the municipalities, schools, universities, sport federations and athletes to fully understand where the need is and what the different entities can provide.”

She said it was crucial that the different bodies came together to develop an integrated plan to keep sport moving forward.

Lumka said Elroy Gelant, a finalist in the 5 000m in Rio, would be one of the prominent guest speakers.

“We never really get the picture of what it takes to prepare for an event like the Olympics.”

She said the track athlete would also give attendees a sense of how to cope with setbacks as well as how to pick oneself up for another four-year cycle of training.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam will review the Olympics from a South African perspective and look at Team South Africa’s support structures.

Diversity in Olympism is the focus of the talk by Dr Phathokuhle Zondi, CEO of the Sport Science Institute of South Africa.

The opening address will be delivered by NMMU George Campus principal Prof Quinton Johnson.