Creating A Culture of Anti-Doping in Sport on the West Coast
On Saturday, 27 July 2013, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) collaborated with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) to host the West Coast substance abuse seminar in Saldanha Bay.
Similar seminars were held in the Boland, Metropole and South Western Districts (SWD) regions this year to create awareness around a scourge that has been undermining the fairness of competitive sport for many years. Various local sporting dignitaries, athletes and parents attended the event.
The Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer stressed the importance of participating in drug-free sport. “Athletes that use performance-enhancing drugs in sport are not only cheaters, they are also fake…it’s not possible for an athlete to maximise his/her potential through substance abuse,” he said.
Mr Kassiem Adams of SAIDS explained the dangers and consequences of doping, doping control and its procedures in sport, and presented the banned and permitted substances in sport. He said their new anti-doping education and testing programme in high schools is currently being rolled out on a province-by-province basis.
Mr Bennet Bailey of DCAS Sport Promotion encouraged parents and coaches to be vigilant to minimise the risk of children being exposed to substance abuse. “Young people often look up to athletes as a role model. Athletes who win in a fair manner and who are leading by example are the role models we want young people to look up to,” he said.
Kickboxer Gregory Gaans said he received valuable information on fair play in sport, adding that athletes want to compete in sport knowing that they, and their competitors, are clean. This initiative showed the importance of a collaborative movement between DCAS, SAIDS and WADA that values and protects the rights of Western Cape athletes to participate in drug-free sport.