Former footballers during the ASPC African Sports Forum. From (L-R) Morgan Gould, Macbeth Sibaya, Siyabonga Nkosi and Delron Buckley.Up and coming athletes participating in different sporting codes were capacitated on various issues that they will be faced with when their careers start to blossom. This was during a series of informative sessions at the first annual ASPC African Sports Forum held at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 06 – 07 September 2018.
This gathering was hosted by the Association of Sport Performance Centres (ASPC) in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation and eThekwini Municipality. This was for the first time that the forum came to Africa and is a direct result of discussions initiated at the 10th International Forum on Elite Sport that was held in Durban last year. In August 2017, Durban hosted the 10th International Forum on Elite Sport which was a resounding success, receiving praise from the international sporting community and generating more than R20 million in revenue for the Durban economy.
Speaking before the event, the MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi said, “We are excited to be part of the ASPC Continental Forum which brings together sports leaders, administrators, coaches and athletes from throughout Africa to discuss best practices and a wide range of sports-related topics. This Forum will leave a lasting legacy for our Province as lessons learned will inform our plans to develop podium athletes, utilising African developed solutions”
Moloi further said that sports practitioners from KwaZulu-Natal, including those from disadvantaged communities, are having an opportunity to learn from their peers from the continent and this will augur well for our development initiatives.
“As a Province, we want to ensure that our previously disadvantaged sports practitioners are empowered and given the opportunities to excel at the highest of levels. More experienced coaches allow us to develop more elite athletes,” further stated the MEC.
As part of the proceedings during this event, there were various breakaway sessions where industry experts imparted their skills and knowledge to the budding athletes. Among these was a session held by Durban Chamber where former football players, Siyabonga Nkosi, Macbeth Sibaya, Morgan Gould and Delron Buckley shared their life stories as professionals and highlighted the hardships that come with being a professional athletes.
Durban Chamber President, Musa Makhunga said that the Durban Chamber is committed to building business skills and knowledge in entrepreneurs.
“Athletes are businesses in and of themselves. One athlete can support up to seven jobs in terms of administrators, trainers, coaches, nutritional specialists and others. By empowering them with business skills, we will give athletes the opportunity to build their personal brands, leverage them for present and residual income, and allow them to explore alternative business and career options outside of sport,” said Makhunga