Posted on March 11, 2009
It was less than three weeks ago when SASCOC’s new president, Mr Gideon Sam, announced the strategy towards London 2012. SASCOC’s goal is to select a team capable of winning 12 medals by 2012! Sam made it clear that SASCOC will be demanding potential medal-winning performances come Olympic selection time.
High-performance sport will revert back to SASCOC, while funds will be prioritized for the codes that traditionally have been successful, namely: athletics, swimming, boxing, rowing, canoeing, cycling, judo, shooting and weightlifting. Gideon Sam made it clear that a decentralized approach will be followed in terms of athlete preparation and support. This strategy will rely heavily on the sport scientific support and expertise, as well as the facilities of the universities around South Africa.
Mr Toby Sutcliffe, the CEO of the University of Pretoria’s hpc, was among the invited guests that listened to Sam’s plea for the sports fraternity to take up the challenge and step up in preparation for 2012. Sutcliffe’s subsequent directive to his staff was to prioritize the annual hpc sport science support sponsorships to current and potential Olympians. Twelve Olympians and six young promising athletes covering swimming, athletics, rowing, canoeing, judo, triathlon and cricket were presented to Mr Toby Sutcliffe and the high performance manager of TuksSport, Xilia Dreyer, for final approval. TuksSport and the University’s high performance centre have committed their sport science and sports medical services, sports facilities and coaches to these athletes with the belief that it will significantly enhance their performances.
The hpc sport science & medical unit in partnership with the Institute for Sports Research and the Sports Medicine Department consist of some of the finest scientists and practitioners in South Africa. The high performance centre is unique in offering a truly multidisciplinary sport-scientific approach and demands close co-operation with the coaches. The unit consists of two divisions, namely the Performance Enhancement division and the Medical and Rehabilitation division. Each division is headed up by highly skilled and experienced managers ensuring quality control and best practice as well as mentoring the staff. All efforts are directed at empowering the coach and eventually improving the performance of the athlete. The hpc’s state of the art “virtual web coaching system” has been developed in order to optimize the scientific support as well as ensure a co-ordinated multidisciplinary service to coach and athlete. This Virtual Web Coaching system forms the backbone of the planning, integration and intervention available to the sponsored athletes and their coaches.
The hpc is proud to present our 12 sponsored Olympians and six potential Olympians as the first step in taking up SASCOC’s challenge to win 12 medals by 2012. Special mention should be made of Roland Schoeman, Suzaan van Biljon, Ramon di Clemente, LJ van Zyl, Shaun Rubenstein, Bridgitte Hartley, Marlon August, Patrick Trezise and William Diering that feature prominently among those on the sponsored list. The hpc is proud to say that these athletes choose to base themselves at the TuksSport and the hpc and actively make use of the sport science support provided to them and their coaches on a daily basis.
The University’s best wishes go out to these athletes and their coaches as well as to SASCOC in their quest to represent South Africa in 2012 with pride.
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