Minister Anroux Marais' Speech at Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Gala Dinner
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
OLD MUTUAL TWO OCEANS MARATHON GALA DINNER SPEECH
16 APRIL 2019
Good evening, goeienaand, molweni nonke,
It gives me great pleasure to address you at this very auspicious gala dinner signifying the 50th anniversary of the iconic Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town this evening.
Key to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is to render the Western Cape the sport and recreation destination of South Africa through hosting major provincial, national and international events. We know that major events contribute towards job creation, economic growth and sport tourism in the province and the social benefits derived are numerous and well documented.
Events such as the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Foot of Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup indeed changed perceptions of our province, the country and the continent as a whole. The benefits also last long after the event is concluded as it changes the social, infrastructural and economic landscape of the country, region and local community.
Used as a tool for enhancing community participation and integration, major events serve to establish legacy programmes, facilities in the respective communities and builds capacity within sport codes and hones athlete and coach preparation while strengthening partnerships between government, private and the voluntary sector.
In order to harness the potential of sport and recreation as a strong economic driver, a co-ordinated and strategic approach to the hosting of major sport and recreation events is envisaged and is currently underway.
There is an urgent need to extend the key success factors of the dedicated mega-projects to on-going planning to ensure growth in the sector. The Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town has made great strides in creating a leveraging platform that helps to build on our resources to result in legacy infrastructure while developing and implementing valuation techniques that evaluate whether public funding for the promotion and attraction of events is well spent. In this way, we ensure that there is strategic spread of investment across events by supporting existing “jewels” and emerging events.
In order to take the agenda forward, the Premier’s Department commissioned an integrated events strategy taking into account existing events; the economic, social and environmental strengths, weaknesses and priorities and of course international best practice.
I am proud to announce, that through innovative partnerships, the number of major sporting events supported by the Western Cape Government have increased in the past 10 years, by 248% from just 25 events when we took office in 2009, to 92 events in 2018/19.
Focussing on distance running, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon has the potential to identify in our youth the next Josiah Thugwane, who won the Olympic Marathon in 1996; the Willie Mtolo and Hendrik Ramaala, both previously winning the New York Marathon. Especially significant about the code is that it affords athletes the opportunity to become professional and earn a living from their sport, enabling a space for job creation as distance running is the most accessible sporting code as it only requires commitment.
The Western Cape Government is confident that the 2019 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon will be nothing short of another world class event that will further develop the sport as a professional and recreational activity for years to come. I also take this opportunity to thank all who had a hand in the success of the 50th marathon and on that note, I wish all riders well ahead of the race this weekend and welcome visitors to take the opportunity to experience the splendour of our picturesque Mother City and the greater Western Cape.
I thank you.