Rudolph Johannes, chairperson of Overberg for the past 6 year, proclaimed himself very happy with the way they conducted business last year. Overberg was very successful last year and completed all activities they have planned for the year.
He says a highlight was the gold medal they have received in December for best district at Western Cape level. The other districts received silver. The progress they have made at school level is also heart-warming to Rudolph, and some athletes were included in national teams.
The bowls athletes performed exceptionally well and a few of them were included in the national team to represent the country overseas. Two other codes that made Overberg proud were tug-of-war and equestrian.
Of the 23 sport federations of the Overberg Sports Council tug-of-war was the one that performed the best in 2019 and they made an impact – even at international level.
In 2020 the focus will be on the local sport academy in Bredasdorp. They had a meeting with the head of the sport academy last week and a big goal is to get more athletes taken up into the academy. The athletes need to be prepared for their respective national championships and also for the Olympic Games.
There will also be a big focus on athletes with disabilities. They want to see how they can help to get these athletes at a higher level and they also want to get more athletes with disabilities at the academy. Rudolph says some of them are already in the provincial academy but the challenge this year is to get them into the district academy.
The academy is key to developing top athletes for the Overberg area, says Rudolph. Every year they take in athletes from the different codes and schools and federations can send their top athletes.
Netball, in particular, is a federation that is doing good work. They are on well on their way with their development programmes at schools and clubs.
Rudolph says he was happy with transformation in sport, although they are struggling with some of the bigger federations, such as cricket and athletics. Most of the federations and codes, however, are on course and their transformation scorecards are satisfactory. Those who are struggling are trying to get their ducks in a row.
Overberg strives to get more women and girls in sport and that is another focus point for 2020. They have an annual programme to attract more women and girls involved – not only as athletes but also as administrators. There is progress but not enough and Rudolph feels more women could be taken up in administrative structures.
More women are becoming involved in coaching and more girls take part in school sport, but Rudolph reckons it is going to require a major mind shift before women can take their rightful place in for example executive committees.
Well, we are proud of the achievements and progress of Overberg. And we know with passion and commitment they will overcome the hurdles along the way and shine brightly again in 2020!