Minister Mbombo's Address at the Opening of the SA National Darts Championships
7 July 2014
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for the invitation to address you at this auspicious opening ceremony.
I would like to say a special ‘good evening’ to my fellow speakers:
The President of Darts South Africa, Graham Stark.
And the leader of Western Province Dartboard of Control, Joe Johnson.
A special good evening to all DSA officials present here today and to the different teams representing all nine provinces: a special welcome to you all.
Siyanamnkela to the Western Cape and to Cape Town.
It is an absolute honour to be here to officially open the National Darts Championship.
To the teams:
You have worked hard to be here. To compete, in whatever sport or cultural activity, at any level, takes hard work, dedication and discipline.
You ought to pat yourselves on the back for possessing such qualities- not many people can claim to have the same.
You also need to remind yourselves that the hard work must continue.
You managed to qualify to be here today, but it is the discipline, the dedication and the hard work that will carry you through this round.
Competition is healthy, but it is also difficult. It requires a certain level of maturity many people are yet to attain.
I remember thinking this when I watched the Brazil vs Chile game last week Saturday.
The Chileans played their hearts out and the Brazilian team brought on their A game.
When the 90 minutes was up, players were completely spent but they continued to battle it out for their spot in the next level of the competition, the quarter finals.
I was gutted when Chile lost. It wasn’t because I favoured a specific team, but because they had played so well and competed so hard, it was unfair that only one team could make it to the next round.
That’s the nature of competition. It is rewarding, but it is also tough.
With those words, I wish all of you all the very best for the championships. Work hard and play even harder. Fight with all that you have to get that championship title.
And if you don’t make it- take a page out of the Chilean playbook- walk away with grace and the knowledge that you gave it your very best.
I am here today in my capacity as a representative of the Western Cape government and more importantly as the ‘class captain’ of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.
Whenever I speak to people around the province about the work that my department does, my strength and resolve to wake up every day and to do my job in renewed.
The work of this department stretches far beyond its perceived boundaries.
In the world of sport: We work hard to identify talent, to nurture and develop it and to ensure that the recipients of such training are exposed to the best opportunities.
We identify and nurture coaches that will be the custodians of our stars of tomorrow. We do this through our sports clubs and through the coaches we train to facilitate activities at our after school facilities- the MOD centres.
We fund individuals doing great things for their communities. An example of this is our partnership with the Dance for All founders. This is the work of an individual, who has thought beyond his scope of abilities and dedicates his time to teaching under privileged kids the art of dance.
We look after libraries,
We are the people in government that look after your wellbeing through physical activities, that facilitate great sporting events for your entertainment, that preserve and nurture the heritage of South Africans for your benefit and that encourages reading and record keeping for your learning.
We are the one department that truly breathes life to the provisions of social inclusion which features prominently in our National Development Plan.
My colleagues at DCAS work extremely hard, often with little recognition, like Father Christmas’ elves, to get our people learning, playing and culturally conscious.
To every official, head of department and director, we say to you tonight- your work does not go unnoticed.
It is when I see champions in the making from across the country, excited to be here and excited to excel that I know that the work of the men and women of my department does not go unnoticed- it is indeed important work.
So when we were approached to fund this function tonight, we knew it was up our ally. It was the kind of initiative that we could and should get stuck in.
And we did.
Thank you Darts South Africa for the opportunity to make this contribution.
Politicians are notorious for their ability to bore people with details. I promise not to become a cliché.
I declare Darts South Africa’s 22nd annual SA National Darts Championship hosted by the Western Province Darts Board of Control- officially open.
The next week presents an opportunity for all of you as teams and as individuals:
You can be selected for Protea colours or your team could have the opportunity to represent South Africa at the World Cup in Turkey.
Take these opportunities and pursue them with everything in you.
Every champion will tell you- it takes a massive amount of spirit and heart to get to where they are and where they have been.
I thank you.