Speech by Minister of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
All protocol observed,
It gives me great pleasure and honour to address you all at this very significant gathering. Today, we recognise and celebrate the sporting excellence of the team who will represent South Africa at the Annual Homeless Street Soccer World Cup taking place in Amsterdam from 12 – 20 September 2015. The team was selected through community based street soccer initiatives and through much training the team of 8 players was selected, of which 5 hail from the Western Cape.
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.
The team standing before me today will go on to represent not only the Western Cape, but the country at an international sporting event. They have raised above all odds and faced many challenges but they have made the positive choice to focus on soccer and give it their all. Sporting excellence requires dedication, motivation and many hours of practice, but also most importantly support and encouragement. Today, I am extremely proud of all of you and encourage you to persist in your sport. Your perseverance and focus is grooming you into significant role models to whom the youth can look up to. In a country filled with so much social ills and hardships, become a symbol of light for so many individuals, especially the youth.
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 wish you well at the upcoming Street Soccer World Cup and I hope that next time I see you, you will be the champion of 2015.
I thank you.