The Olympic Movement is perhaps best known for its elite sports competitions featuring the world’s greatest athletes. What sometimes gets overlooked in the glare of gold medals, new world records and incredible stories of human triumph, however, is its less glamorous but equally important work undertaken at the grassroots level.
This week in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, the Olympic Movement donated sports equipment, including a considerable offering from the International Boxing Association (AIBA), for use across 11 mayoral districts. International Olympic Committee members Sam Ramsamy, Lambis Nikolaou and AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu delivered the donations to the Executive Council Member (MEC) for Sport and Recreation, Weziwe Thusi, and the 11 mayors at a presentation on Sunday in KwaXimba, approximately 70 kilometres from Durban.
Also attending the ceremony were Chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal Local Government Association Obed Mlaba and President of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) Gideon Sam.
“We are happy with your assurance that this equipment is not only going to be applied to sports development but that it will be used to drive the community’s outreach programmes for education, the fight against crime, illegal drugs, HIV and AIDS, among others,” Sam Ramsamy said in his speech. “We know how much you value sport as a vehicle for human development.”
KwaZulu-Natal, with a population of around 10 million people, is one of the largest provinces in South Africa. But it is one with serious socio-economic problems, including illiteracy and one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the country.
It is the sincere hope of the entire Olympic Movement that this contribution will lead to a better future for the young people of the province of KwaZulu-Natal.