Promoting Sport Development in the Western Cape and Shandong Province
Western Cape sport federations have confirmed their support for a sport development partnership between the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and its counterpart in Shandong Province, China. The federations confirmed their intention to actively play their part during a meeting held in Cape Town on Friday, 16 August 2013.
A Western Cape delegation visited Shandong last month for a mutually beneficial exchange of sport development knowledge and expertise. The delegation comprised DCAS Chief Director of Sport and Recreation, Adv. Lyndon Bouah, Mr Bennett Bailey of DCAS Sport Promotion, Mr Elton Davids of the Western Cape Sports Council and Mr Josh Cloete of the West Coast Coaches Commission. The delegates agreed that the visit was highly productive, especially links established with the Shandong Sports Bureau.
Effective sports development structures are one of the key reasons for the success of the People’s Republic of China in major international events such as the Commonwealth and Olympic/ Paralympic Games.
DCAS has identified four possible areas of interest: sport academies and focus schools in Shandong; coaching and training; talent identification programmes; and facilities in Shandong.
The Shandong exchange will provide the opportunity for coach and player exchange programmes, initially in the codes of badminton, boxing, chess, cycling, golf and gymnastics but will be extended to the other codes. There will be opportunities to send Western Cape students in sports-related fields to Shandong to complete 3-month internships. Invitations will be sent to various Shandong sports teams to participate in provincial events such as the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, Bay Hill Football Cup and Western Cape Open Championships. It is expected that Shandong will reciprocate by inviting Western Cape sport teams to compete in events in Shandong.
The relationship with Shandong will give DCAS-supported sport federations opportunities to improve the quality of sport in the Western Cape and for Shandong to benefit from local expertise. The result is expected to be a better sport future for both provinces. “Our relationship with Shandong can help to improve sport in the Western Cape, but it is up to the federations to make the most of the opportunity”, said Adv. Bouah.