Olympic countdown begins



[Image] Supporters are once again asked to put
Fridays aside as a special nation-building
day for Team South Africa.
(Image: Sascoc)

[Image] Rugby sevens sensation Cecil Afrika is
a Team SA ambassador.
(Image: Blitzbokke)

• Mark Keohane
Sascoc spokesperson
+27 11 483 3788

Team SA gets rhino mascot
Laureus honour for Blade Runner
Supporting SA’s sports stars
Playing the dream
Olympic community gathers in SA

Source: GCIS

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic CommitteeSports legends and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) have marked the 100-day countdown towards the kick-off of the 2012 London Olympic Games at a glitzy event at Gold Reef City, south of Johannesburg.

Televised live on the public broadcaster SABC’s breakfast show, the extravaganza included the announcement of Team South Africa’s ambassadors.

They are rugby sevens superstar Cecil Afrika; former national football captain Lucas Radebe; golf veteran Ernie Els; retired international cricket ace Makhaya Ntini; and popular sports presenter Cynthia Tshaka.

Speaking at the event, Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy said: “The role of the Team SA ambassador is to inspire and mentor the Team SA athletes competing at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, while encouraging young and old people worldwide to become more active in sport.”

Mobilising the fans

Already a firm favourite amongst the fans, the recently announced Team SA mascot, Chukuru, once again showed his nimble dancing moves.

Members of the public recently voted for the rhino-like creature as their choice of mascot for Team SA from now on, for all multi-coded sports events.

Sporting hopefuls for the London 2012 Olympic Games, including track and field athletes and members of the national men’s hockey team, who will be leaving for their Olympic qualifier tournament in Japan within days, were in attendance.

Sascoc also launched a supporter’s shirt which members of the public can wear on Team SA Fridays to show that they’re behind Team SA all the way.

Predominately green, the supporters shirt will be available in selected stores around the country, ahead of the regular staging of Team SA Fridays which kick off this weekend and are sure to drum up more popular support for the national squad at the world’s biggest global sports event.

Strengthening the Olympic movement in Africa

Meanwhile, sports minister Fikile Mbalula recently returned from a two-day meeting of the 18th general assembly of Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Moscow, Russia.

Mbalula was part of the 1 000-strong gathering of leaders of the Olympic movement from over 205 countries. The meeting was only the second in ANOC history.

The main purpose of the assembly was to provide the national Olympic committees from five continents with an opportunity to exchange views and opinions in making the Olympic movement stronger, and to protect the interest of the athletes.

Mbalula and Sascoc president Gideon Sam met with the general assembly’s president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad Al-Sabah to discuss the strengthening of the Olympic movement in Africa.

“South Africa is one of the most strategic partners in the successes of the Olympic movement in the continent,” said Mbalulu. “The sheikh shared his vision with us about Olympic development in Africa.”

Al-Sabah said South Africa remains a strategic role player in the advancement of sport and athlete development in the African continent.

The ANOC general assembly takes every two years.