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Press Statement by the USSA President Mrs. Ilhaam Groenewald
on the occasion of the announcement of the USSA team ahead of the 30th Summer Universiade to be held in Italy, Napoli from 03-14th July 2019

Programme Director, Ms Dlamini
NLC Commissioner: Madam Mampane, COO Mr Phil Letwaba other Senior Management and other colleagues present. Members
Mr Ncula Chairperson of the Distribution Agency for Sport and Recreation and other members of the DA present
Mr Stefano Ligrone, Italian Embassy
Member Universities Senior Leadership
Ms Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa
SASCOC board member(s): Deputy-President, Mr Hendricks and Alexander
Members of the USSA NEC, MUS Heads of Sport Staff & NUSA Executive Committee members.
Presidents, Board members and staff of National Federations: Present today is Mr Hezekiel Sepeng, Athletics South Africa HP Manager and Mr Mark Alexander: SARU President
Summer Universiade General Delegation Management: Mr Gagayi, Chef de Mission and his team.
Athletes, Coaches and Team Managers
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
All protocol observed

Good morning
Goeie More

I am honoured once again, address you today, with the purpose to announce the University Sport South Africa Team, consisting of 6 sport codes, namely Archery, Athletics, Football, Rugby 7s, Swimming and Tennis, and a total delegation of 178, that will represent our beautiful country at the 30th Summer Universiade, also known as the World Student Games, to be held in Italy, Napoli from 03-14th July 2019. Today marks 33 days before the start of the Universiade, and Team SA is ready to participate and improve our performance.

It is only through meaningful partnerships that we are able to announce the USSA team today, and I would like to acknowledge the support and thank some special organisations and persons whom have contributed to our journey till now, and we are confident will do so in future. Our CFMO will attend to the official Vote of Thanks, however allow me to mention a few:

  1. Minister of Sport & Recreation: Firstly, may I take this opportunity to congratulate Minister Nathi Mthetwa with his appointment as the new Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture. All the best with your term of office. To our previous Minister, Madam Xasa and her office, thank you for your support, including the medical and sport science support for the games. Minister Mthetwa, in absentia USSA looks forward to additional support in future. Welcome Mr Simphiwe Ncube, Director Support Services and Mr Jacob Manamela.
  2. SASCOC: Deputy President, it is good to have you here present today and to us it means the future can be brighter. You and I are in regular contact, discussing important issues, so thank you for reaching out.
  3. National Lotteries Commission: We are celebrating 20 years of existence, because since 2008 until 2017, university sport received a total of R28.645m, however important to note that for the period 2008-2010 funds were paid to SASCOC and not USSA. This changed since 2010 with a total of R4.9m directly paid to and managed by USSA.
  4. University Sports Company: With total investment of R2.5m to date and a possibility of additional funding. This investment excludes additional funding to support our Head Office.
  5. Member Universities: Without you we are unable to deliver Team S.A. and this includes investment in costs directly taking of studentathletes, coaching, facilities, and medicine & sport science etc., amounting to millions of rands annually. An estimated overall investment by universities for sport in S.A. during 2018 is estimated just below R1bn and due to increase noting future facilities upgrading and building new facilities.
  6. National Federations: One of our key objectives has always been to improve our relations with NFs. We are thankful once again to the NFs of our 6 sport codes for their support due to participate for their technical, apparel and leadership support. It is important to note that the key issues raised whilst we were finalising our teams and these include transformation, athlete-support and continuous improvement of preparation. USSA and Member Universities remain committed and evident from the investment I have just mentioned.
  7. USSA Head Office: our small contingent of committed and dedicated staff at the Head Office, it will just not be possible to achieve what we continue to, so thank you to Mr Louis Nel: CEO, Mr Dumisani Dondashe: Senior Operations Officer, Ms Vuyo Nxakala: Administrator and Ms Thembi Baloyi: Projects and Adm. Assistant.
  8. General Delegation Management: Present today is our Chef de Mission (Mr Mandla Gagayi, Director of Sport at UWC), and the rest of his team.
  9. Athletes & Coaches: without you, there will just be no Team SA, so a massive round of applause to all of you.
  10. A special acknowledgement to our Programme Director: phenomenal woman and member of the USSA family, Ms Dlamini.
University Sport South Africa (USSA) prides itself and is honored to work with some of our country’s most incredible and talented student-athletes, coaches, medicine and sport science staff, including having some of the best sport facilities in South Africa. This year we are celebrating 25 years of our existence and our contribution towards the sport industry of South Africa. It is through meaningful partnerships with universities that can provide for more talented athletes to be recruited and retained after they have completed their high school education. We are however not claiming that we are doing everything right, in fact we are mindful of the fact that we can do more, including change some of the ways in which we have been managing sport. Most importantly it is through a collective and innovative vision we can achieve more, and that is to win more medals as a country.

What we are going to claim is our investment in so many student-athletes whom have represented our senior Team South Africa, in a number of sport codes from the ages of 18, and the FISU Summer Universiade therefore is an critical platform for us to expose our student-athletes so that more can continue to do our country proud in future. The involvement of partners, Government, NFs and SASCOC is important to achieve this.

For the 30th Summer Universiade, USSA is committed to defend our 2017 results, achieve Personal Best (PB) results, even break records, and make more memories. During the 2017 games we ended 44th / 144 countries that participated and our intention and target is to improve our results with a minimum of 8 medals and aiming for at least 2 gold medals. It is gold medals that will improve our overall standing.

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we have all been waiting for...It gives me great pleasure to unveil to you the Team that will carry the hopes and aspirations of the people of our country when we represent Team SA at the 30th Summer Universiade in Italy.

I have the utmost confidence in this Team and believe that we shall improve on our 2017 results, and achieve the set target of a minimum of 8 medals, including 2 gold medals.

The following message is for our student-athletes, coaches and their respective support teams: In life, never be afraid of your adversaries or critics, because they don’t count. Irrespective of the conditions, keep on believing, keep trusting, if you do this, you will keep growing, you will keep winning and you will keep making progress. Keep your gaze on where it matters most. I have the utmost respect for our student-athletes, especially our Team South Africa delegation, who gather from different universities, have the added responsibility to acquire a qualifications, train hard, and as a diverse group of young people, come together biannually to fly our flag at the FISU Summer Universiade. Continue to be part of greatness, because our country needs you.

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that Ms. Tatjana Schoenmaker, Pretoria University student, our USSA silver medallist in 200m breaststroke for the 2017 games, Team South Africa flag-bearer.

In closing from my side, on behalf of the University Sport family, it gives me great pleasure to now hand-over our team to you, Mr. Mandla Gagayi as the appointed Chef de Mission for the 30th Summer Universiade. I believe in your leadership as well as the rest of the GDM and that you will lead, once again, this team with honour and dedication. The whole nation is behind you in our quest for glory.

We wish our team well and we request South Africans and media to rally behind Team SA.

I thank you.

Posted by USSA Communications Unit on 2019-05-30.
University Sports South Africa
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