2017 Western Cape Sport Awards address by Minister Anroux Marais
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
SPORTS AWARDS ADDRESS
16 SEPTEMBER 2017
Good evening, molweni, goeienaand
It gives me great pleasure and honour to welcome you to this very significant ceremony as we recognise and celebrate the sporting excellence of esteemed sportspeople hailing from the Western Cape. The sports stars officially celebrated here today have done us immensely proud. They have held the Western Cape’s name high at national and international sporting events.
Today, we not only honour our sport stars amongst us, but I take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to each one of you for making the conscious decision to firstly participate in your respective codes, grabbed the opportunities afforded to you, put in the hours of training and sacrifice, became accustomed to a healthy lifestyle and had the self-confidence and determination to compete on various levels of excellence. Through your determination and will to succeed, you have not only made us proud but you represented yourself, your families, communities, clubs, province and some of you, our country at prestigious sporting events. This is no small feat and I do not think you fully realise the profound implications your excellence in sport truly holds.
As South Africans, we come from such a rich history, hold endless potential and as a nation, our beauty lies in our diverse cultural heritage and all we have to offer. Despite all our accolades and successes, with all the challenges and adversities we face, the world does not necessarily regard us in this positive light, even our own fellow South Africans are oblivious to the splendour that is South Africa.
How best to show the world and others how proud we are of where we come from, to where we are, to what is about to come than through developing and showcasing South African sporting excellence. Sporting events are the single most prominent events to be broadcast worldwide and has the greatest audience globally. That said, I am sure your powerful positions are becoming a bit clearer in that you have the power to change the global perception of not only South Africa but of your communities through your sporting finesse.
It is for this reason that I would personally love to afford every child who calls the Western Cape home the opportunity to participate in sport and why this Department goes the extra mile in creating an enabling environment to provide access to mass participation, talent identification and skills development. All our sportspeople here this evening have assisted us in this mission as you are the beacons of hope and inspiration who personify the ability of sport to bring diverse groups of people together in creating hope and instilling tolerance and unity.
Ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games last year, I personally accepted a challenge put forth by Ernst Van Dyk. The 10-time Boston Marathon winner and multi-Paralympic medallist challenged our Department to establish a functional base in which high performance athletes can train in residence in the Western Cape. This will indeed retain our athletes in the province as there will no longer be a pull factor from other provinces or countries which undoubtedly has a positive impact on the prospects for future generations of local sportspeople. We have accepted this challenge to accelerate participation at grassroots level to grow our talent pool in the province, ultimately increasing the number of individuals and teams changing the perception of our province and nation. More emphasis will then be placed on being a nation of prospect rather than labelled a country at risk and that deserves a round of applause.
Once again, congratulations on this milestone achievement on being nominated as the crème de la crème of our province and thank you for the influential role you have and will continue to play in representing our beloved country and province with much pride. Always remember, the cornerstone of the code of karate, virtue before vice, values before vanity and principles before personalities.
I thank you.