Sport on by Mogan Segadavan
I LOVE indabas and conferences – I have attended a few in my time – for reasons other than the food and drink, which are freely available (and the usual golf shirt, pens and brief cases).
They usually start with some flustered young thing checking if you name is on the list and handing out your name tag, a folder with copies of all the papers which will be delivered (and of course the pen, golf shirt and brief case).
By the time the indaba finally gets under way, you have already been through the papers which are still to be delivered. Then an idiot who has been appointed the facilitator starts with some idiotic ice-breaker before getting the show on the road.
After all the papers (which you have already read) have been delivered the gathering breaks into groups to come up with VISION and MISSION statements.
And everybody pats each other on the back and heads home in various states of sobriety.
It is unlikely the two-day sports indaba in Midrand earlier this week was any different.
Some 2000 delegates, including heads of sporting federations, gathered to chart a long-term strategy intended to improve the development of young sportsmen and women.
On the first day, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula announced pupils will have compulsory physical education classes from January next year. He said his department would sign a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Education to reintroduce the subject. Why was it ever discontinued some 17 years ago in the first place?
Six years ago the then sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile signed a framework for collaboration, designed to reinvigorate physical education at schools and to “ensure and increase access to safe and secure facilities” with the then education minister Naledi Pandor.
Nothing has happened since.
The new sports minister vows this time it will work and the indaba is not just another talk shop.
The government, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and the Department of Education will ensure physical education is compulsory, qualified physical education teachers are employed, equipment is sourced and a weekly school league is implemented.
Of course a lot of this would depend on funding from Lotto.
Better hurry and go and buy your ticket.