A “Better Together” Western Cape and Shandong
The Western Cape and Shandong Province in China are in partnership to create a better sports future together. On Wednesday, 14 November 2012, members of a delegation from Shandong visited the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) to discuss opportunities for joint projects to improve sport through the design and implementation of high performance systems.
The Department used the visit to learn from Shandong’s successful sport development structures and exchanged knowledge and experience as China and South Africa prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. DCAS is building towards a long-term provincial goal in 2030 through the National Development Plan to create an ideal future for youth through sport.
The Department has identified four possible areas of interest: sport academies and focus schools in Shandong; coaching and training; talent identification programmes; and facilities in Shandong.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer said DCAS hoped to learn from the achievements of the People’s Republic of China during the 2012 London Olympic Games. He expressed his admiration for Shandong’s scientific and technical approach to skills development, talent identification and mass participation in sport. “We want to form a partnership with sports bodies in Shandong and continue to grow our partnership. Our sports federations are keen to learn how to focus on talent identification amongst youth, physical education and major events”, Dr Meyer said.
Shandong province representatives hope to visit the Western Cape every two years to establish and maintain a regular working relationship. They also want to promote all kinds of group participation and encourage sport and economic entities from the Western Cape to visit their sport venues and participate in their facility management and sports training. The head of the delegation, Mr Gao Jinye, said his aim is to enhance the partnership between Shandong and the Western Cape. “I hope we can strengthen this partnership with the Department, share our advantages and work hand-in-hand for mutual success.”
The Western Cape and Shandong are already partners through the Regional Leaders’ Multilateral Forum, which was hosted in the Western Cape in September 2010.A high profile Western Cape Government delegation and other sport dignitaries will visit Shandong next year in their efforts to strengthen the development of active and winning provinces in the two countries.