The Direct Democracy Forum are aware that a very large section of the population are engaged in sport either as active participants or active or passive supporters.
Sports should not only be for the sports men and women of South Africa but also for the fans. None the less, the easiest way of identifying the popularity of sports are by the number of participants. So the DDF will have a multi faceted approach to the funding of sports, taking the view that the bulk, if not all sports funding, be distributed on the basis of the number of amateur participants and the number of competitive events they engage in.
A DDF administration would engage with the amateur sports federations to identify their needs, ensure that training and competition is properly funded at school and club levels and at local, regional, national and international levels. Another element will be the provision of resources such as competition and training venues and resources. This will partly address the need to engage fans in the various sports activities and possibly turn more of them into active sportsmen and women. Part of the thrust would be to improve the health and fitness of sectors of the population not normally engaged in sports activities. Particularly leagues for veterans and persons who have physical or mental challenges would be encouraged.
A DDF administration would deal directly with the various amateur sports federations and would not use SASCOC as an intermediary or as an administrator overseeing amateur sports federations. Similarly, the various national sports federations will engage directly with the international bodies for their various sports. The amateur federations will be tasked to develop the most competitive sportsmen and women it is possible to develop and to oversee the selection processes and the training of all local, regional, national and international sports teams. Active sportsmen in each Federation will appoint office bearers and administrators for their federations and will directly fund the participation of their members in local and international competition. The state will, in turn, fund all sports bodies from school to club to federation level so all sports men and women are adequately supported in their efforts to bring the world’s sports trophies home to South Africa.
State funding does not preclude funding from other sources, such as private and corporate donations nor will such funding preclude state funding. The purpose of state funding will be to see that sportsmen and women have functioning bodies within which to participate in their sporting activities and grow their sports, without the need for private funding. Private funding would be an added bonus but not a requirement for the survival of sporting bodies and sporting activities. Private funding of amateur activities also are a prelude to engagement of the private sector in the world of professional sports. The role of the state would really be to support the sports and sportsmen and women in their developmental stages, preparing them, as it were, for careers in the world of professional sports.
SASCOC’s activities will be confined to those of coordinators of all interdisciplinary sports events for competitions such as but not necessarily limited to the Olympics and para-Olympics and Commonwealth Games. Sascoc will also be directly funded by the state and will have no call on the funds allocated to national sports federations nor any say in team selection processes. Sascoc office bearers will be elected directly by the national sports federations.
In short, SASCOC will exist to serve the sports federations, and the sports federations will exists to serve the sporting fraternity and in particular, active sports men and women.
A DDF administration would largely adopt a hands-off approach and concentrate on empowering and enabling South Africa’s sports men and women and removing gatekeepers from the world of sport.
Regarding the recreational element of Sports and Recreation, a DDF administration will identify and engage in the support of clubs and cultural organisations such as but not limited to women’s federations, women’s guilds, scouts and guides, youth federations and any other socially supportive activity that can identify itself as community building in nature or that exists to serve communities and the nation in general. This largely looks as if men are consigned to the wayside but they are not excluded from anything and can indulge in many activities conventionally carried out by men but can also participate in gender neutral activities, all of which will be supported by the state provided they meet the criteria of engaging in community development.
In fact, the DDF see many opportunities for Sports and Recreation, Arts and Culture and Social Welfare to touch sides and collaborate in community building activities and would support any such collaboration. The limits are really set by the imagination of the participating bodies and their members.
Like all other DDF policies, these are merely points of departure and any DDF administration would actively engage in endeavours to grow sports and recreational activities in South Africa and grow their engagement in their international equivalents.