Minister Meyer's Address at the Western Cape Netball Development Tournament
Address delivered by Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer at the Western Cape Netball Development Tournament, Boland Netball Federation Gala Dinner, Worcester Town Hall, High Street, Worcester, 30 August 2013
The Executive Mayor of Breede Valley Municipality, Mr Basil Kivedo
The President of Western Cape Netball, Ms Benny Saayman
The President of the host region, Central Boland, Ms Mildred vd Ross
The presidents and executive members of visiting federations
Coaches, technical officials, players, supporters
Ladies and gentlemen
Good evening and thank you for inviting me to spend some time with some of my most favourite people, you, the netball sorority of the Western Cape. The fact that today marks the second last day of Women’s Month does indeed make this a very special evening for me.
Allow me to immediately acknowledge the presence of a very supportive colleague and friend, the Executive Mayor of the Breede Valley Municipality, Mr Basil Kivedo. I also want to acknowledge two very special groups within the Western Cape netball family. Firstly, there are our netball legends. Boland netball legends such as Serenda Maart and Benny Saayman (both of whom are present here tonight) as well as Lea Sabina Williams and Marie Schon have contributed immensely to the development of netball into the code it is today. We are eternally grateful to them.
Then there are the members of the Boland B Team who recently won the B Division at the Spar National Championships in Rustenberg. Coach Bennie Saayman; Manager Enanda Haasbroek; Captain Zaandre Theron; Vice-Captain Sunelle Barnard; and players Theriska Alberts, Maretha Buys, Pouline Mposh Zono, Marinda Bruwer, Ina-Marie Burger, Anuschka Greef, Carmen Swanepoel, Akile KhozaPabala Sesele must be congratulated for the clinical manner in which they beat Gauteng North for the second time in six days 39-29 in the final.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to preface my address by telling two versions of the same story about a man whose name I’ll mention later.
In 1984, a young man named Malcolm graduated from the University of Toronto and moved to the United States to try his hand at journalism. Thanks to his uncommon ability for clear writing style and keen eye for a story, he quickly landed a job at The Washington Post. After less than a decade at The Post, he accepted a position with The New Yorker which is considered by many to be the pinnacle of literary journalism. There, he wrote articles full of big ideas about the hidden patterns of ordinary life, which then became source for two no. 1 best-selling books. In the world of non-fiction writing, he is considered to be one of the best in the world.
In 1984, a young man named Malcolm graduated from the University of Toronto and moved to the United States to try his hand at journalism. His mother was a psychotherapist and his father a mathematician. Perhaps their professions pointed young Malcolm towards the behavioural sciences whose popularity would explode in the 1990s. His mother also happened to be a writer on the side. He came to learn, as he would later recall, “that there is beauty in saying something clearly and simply”. As a journalist, he investigated the behavioural research for optimistic lessons about the human condition. His first book, “The Tipping Point”, was published in March 2000.
Now, the person I am talking about is celebrated journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell who in his 2nd book, “Outliers,” makes a passionate argument for taking the second version of the story more seriously than we now do. “It is not the brightest who succeed”, Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
Success not only depends on brains and drive, but on where we come from and, more importantly, the actions we take.
Tonight this room is filled with potential – the best of what Western Cape Netball has to offer in terms of present and future netball talent. However, talent may not be enough. You also need to make the right decisions at the right time and embrace the right opportunities. In Gladwell’s terms you have the opportunity to be an “Outlier” – someone who is talented, and who by design or chance finds yourself within a specific set of circumstances which can either hold you back or propel you forward. The great news is that you have the power to decide which it will be. Congratulations, your presence here suggests that you have already made that decision and your participation in this tournament reflects your commitment. Your decision and presence speaks of someone who despite the real or imagined constraints has the desire to succeed and is prepared to exert effort to achieve success. Remember however that success depends on the support we get from family and friends, teachers and coaches and officials. .
May you display the strength and presence of mind to seize every opportunity and sample the sweet taste of success at this weekend’s tournament.
I thank you.