Recognition of Notable Sports Achievers
Speech by Minister of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
Head of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Mr Brent Walters
Chief Director of Sports and Recreation, Adv. Lyndon Bouah
Chairperson of Western Cape Transplant Sport Association, Mr Hermann Steyn
National Chairperson of Transplant Sport Association, Mr Stan Henkeman
Cape Winelands Netball Coach, Mr Bennie Saayman
Head Coach of West Coast Kickboxing, Mr. Josh Cloete
Team Manager of Cape Winelands Judo, Mr Francois de Wet and
Most importantly, the distinguished Western Cape sporting champions
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure and honour to welcome you all to this very significant ceremony. Today, we recognise and celebrate the sporting excellence of esteemed athletes hailing from the Western Cape. The athletes officially celebrated here today have done us proud. They have held the Western Cape’s name high at national and international sporting events.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport encourages excellence and inclusiveness in sport and culture through the effective, efficient and sustainable use of our resources, and through creative partnerships with others. In moving to excellence, we will create the conditions for access and mass participation, talent identification and skills development. With this mission we aim to work better together toward a socially inclusive, creative, active and connected Western Cape.
Excellence in your respective sporting codes requires dedication, motivation and many hours of practice, but also most importantly support and encouragement from significant others, family, friends, coaches, managers and others. Heartfelt gratitude is expressed to them for their continuous support and encouragement toward our athletes’ success.
Today, I not only congratulate the sports stars among us, whom I am immensely proud of, but I thank them wholeheartedly for serving as a beacon of hope to the youth of the Western Cape. Your excellence in sport and success in both national and international arenas of the sporting world allow the youth to aspire to the lifestyle you lead. Your perseverance and focus have groomed you into significant role models to whom the youth can look up to. In a country filled with so much social ills and hardships, the alternate lifestyle you live and excellence achieved through sports become a symbol of light for so many individuals, especially the youth.
History has shown time and again that sports has the ability to bring diverse groups of people together and I firmly believe you personify this notion. You also promote a healthy lifestyle in which you contribute to increasing wellness and safety in the Western Cape and for that I thank you profusely.
By celebrating our victories and achievements we create a spirit of goodwill and social inclusivity that ultimately binds us all better together.
I could go on and on commending you, highlighting your excellence and the snowball effect it has on improving the province as well as promoting positive youth development. However, I would like to personally congratulate each one of you to express my heartfelt pride and appreciation for all your efforts. I leave you with the fitting words of St Francis of Assisi, “start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you’re doing the impossible”.
I thank you.