To say 2020 was a tough year, would be an understatement. We have been under pressure like never before and our commitment to our sport, our federations and our clubs was severely tested.
But Covid-19 showed us that we have resolve, that we are prepared to fight for the things we love, and above all, that we are survivors. Sport administrators, coaches, athletes, and supporters really came through and passed the test with flying colours.
We commend all of you for the huge effort you have put in to keep our sport alive and well – even under the most trying of circumstances.
We had to learn new skills and new ways of doing things and yes, sometimes we felt uncertain and even scared when confronted with those things – like new technology – but we adapted and we forged ahead.
Today we can reap the rewards of taking those steps into the unknown. Having meetings on online meeting platforms kept us in touch with each other, enabled us to have discussions about the way forward, and also find solutions to problems.
It also saved us time and money, as delegates to meetings did not have to travel long distances to attend meetings physically.
For the athletes following individual training programs at home, getting guidance and advise from a coach online, or sending in a video of their performance for adjudication like gymnastics and karate did during the Lockdown was a novelty.
They, however, did not become despondent. They were disciplined and stuck to the task at hand. For that, we commend them.
There were many highlights. We mentioned our online meetings already. Netball could send two teams to the Telkom National League – the Southern Stings and the Tornados. The launch of those two teams definitely was a highlight.
Chess did a great job in keeping the players busy. They had several online tournaments and developing and attracting new talent was a big priority.
Cycling also had a wonderful year and they could complete their provincial championship meetings in all their disciplines. They were one of the first sporting codes to get back to the track and the Zwift online cycling racing was a welcome addition to their world.
Darts also had an outstanding year, with Cameron Carolissen from the Strandfontein-based Saints Darts Club winning the African Qualifier for the Professional Darts Corporation World Championship. With that win he qualified to represent Africa in England in December.
Another local player, Devon Petersen, won his first tournament on the professional circuit. Petersen trounced the best in the world to win the German Darts Championship.
Other codes, such as equestrian sport, aquatics, football, hockey, softball, tennis, gymnastics, lifesaving, kickboxing, karate, golf, ringball, bowls, and tug-of-war also forged ahead and did good things during 2020.
Climbing deserves a special mention for hosting a very successful International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) African Championships at City Rock in Paardeneiland, Cape Town.
We celebrate the successes, but we also remember those who have lost their lives this year, particularly those who have made a lasting contribution to sport.
Hopefully our members will use this holiday period to rest and come back rejuvenated in 2021.
So, thank you again for all the sacrifices. Enjoy the family time but remember to be safe, sanitise, wear your mask, and practice social distancing.
God bless and see you soon!