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USSA General Council Meeting

The USSA General Council meeting was hosted on the weekend of the 21 October 2017 at the Wits University Sports Conference Centre. The General Council meeting was attended by the USSA member Institutions and its purpose was to discuss reports and approve the 2018 USSA Business plan. The Council meeting was preceded by a Special General meeting which had to amend motions and elect student representatives to fill the vacant positions of a 2nd Vice President and two Assessors.

The following Students were elected to serve in the USSA NEC.

2nd Vice President: Mr. Rodwell Ndlovu from UWC
Assessor: Mr. Gordon Dodge from UCT
Assessor: Mr. Zweli Hlatshwayo from Rhodes University


- National Executive Committee members
- FISU Executive Committee members
- FASU Executive Committee members
- Honorary members
- Heads, Directors, Senior Directors & Chief Directors of Sport
- National University Sport Associations Representatives
- Student leadership
- Observers (USC; NUSAs; MUs)
- Ladies & gentlemen, all protocol observed

2017 has been dedicated to the memory and legacy of our late Comrade Oliver Tambo. In the words of Thabo Mbeki, ‘Oliver Tambo was an intellectual in the best meaning of the word. He was a person of rational thought and rational action. It is a great ability, a great gift, that gift of reason. And I think it was central to Oliver Tambo’s make-up and control on his behaviour. With Oliver Tambo, you had a person who could deal with both the concrete and the abstract, the specific, the particular and the general between tactics and strategy; that dialectical interaction Oliver Tambo understands very well’

Oliver Tambo was a math and science teacher, who firmly believed that a liberated South Africa would require a well-educated population to govern the new democratic state. Therefore, the reminder to us all present today that our focus needs to stay on student-athlete and student-sport leaders to ensure that we provide an enabling environment for us to guide them to flourish and ultimately graduate and contribute towards a liberated, economically strong and caring South Africa. Sport has the power the change the world, so it is through our opportunity and position that we are able to make this a reality.

Whilst we continue to strive to achieve, we are faced with numerous challenges as well as opportunities. Allow me to share a few of these.

With reference to challenges:
- We have experienced major challenges w.r.t. governance and leadership and this is evident in cases of suspension of staff and perhaps the activities of SASCOC, leading to a situation where currently, in my view, there is no leadership to take care of our high performance athletes.Colleagues this serves as a reminder to us, that for example our earlier deliberations w.r.t. eligibility is not fruitless. We do create platforms where we debate because we continue to value university sport, have a responsibility as a collective to protect and improve our governance and ensure that we can always be held accountable when and if so required. The sporting industry is struggling financially due to an economic downtime in sponsorships, we have leadership challenges, budget cuts etc. This means that we need to find new and innovative ways to support university sport.
- Hosting of major events require a focused review to consider it both from a commercial point of view, and most importantly to ensure safety and security thereof. Unless we do the latter, investment will not happen.
- Leadership development must remain at the core of what we do. This include both staff and students because the business of sport has changed and important that we expose ourselves to learn, grow, change and initiative for the future of university sport.

Opportunities include:
- The appointment of our new Minister of Sport & Recreation who dedicated his support to school support, thus creating hope and light for universities, because it is us who will have the responsible to expand their journey in the sporting world.
- Recent meetings held with FISU (including meetings with the SA Representative (previously known as the Ambassador) in Taiwan, to discuss the future hosting of the Summer Universiade as early as 2025/2027. Our meetings also included the hosting of World University Championships, the USSA NEC has entrusted the submission of bidding proposals for WUCs to MUs, and we look forward to their submissions. In this area, I see the involvement of our honorary and SASSU and USSA alumni playing a key role.
- We also have a responsibility to take care of Africa and thus the need as a member, for us to speak frankly about CUCSA and FASU and be clear about where we would like to see Africa in the next 5-10 years.

We also have reason to celebrate colleagues:
- Our recent participation in the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, winning 5 medals. I know that we had a target of 10 and this means a lot of hardwork awaits us all to ensure medal improvement.
- Participation at WUCs and we are able to compete in 14/35 have the opportunity to compete. New developments at FISU and FASU level now provide the opportunity not just to USSA but also MUs.
- For 2017 we have hosted and are due to host a total of 38 national university tournaments
- Successful participation of our MUs in Varsity Cup and Varsity Sports events
- The USC financial investment made to USSA
- National Federations that continue to invest into our NUSAs.
- Our campus programmes, leagues and other tournaments
- I also want to note that I had the privilege of delivering a message on behalf of university sport at Mr Tobie Titus’s 70th birthday. In case you are not aware, he is the only member in our USSA family to be bestowed with an award by the Chancellor of UWC for outstanding leadership in sport.

All of these and more means that university sport is alive and kicking.

My hope is that, in 2018 this time that the USSA NEC will present to the Council a plan that would have already achieved in certain aspects, but that this plan will also change the order of our meetings. To staff members present here today, I call on you to please support, mentor and guide our respective student sport leaders and I know we can learn from from each other. Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, who was also a great friend of Oliver Tambo, said ‘History is never simply a chronicle of the past. It I always a challenge to contemporary thought for the future’. The question is colleagues, how do we bring this together as the university sport family in a space where we can reason with positive intend to find amicable solutions that will take university sport forward?

In closing, safe travels and thank you for attending the various meetings since yesterday. A big round of applause and thank you to WITS for being a great host. To our students, all the best with the upcoming examinations, preparation for the December games and to everyone have a well-deserved break whenever to have yours. God bless and take care.

Posted by USSA Communications Unit on 23 Oct, 2017.
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