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New USSA President Aspires to Raise the Bar

A vastly experienced sport administrator and coach has added another feather to his cap of accomplishments following his election as the president of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) body.

Jerry Laka was elected on 8 October to lead the controlling body of all sports played at tertiary institutions in South Africa from 2023 until 2027. Laka is currently the sport director at the University of the Free State (UFS) and is determined to unlock young players’ vast potential in his new position. This was the first time he contested the position and got the majority votes.

"I must admit that running for the position of president at USSA was a significant undertaking, and I approached it with a deep sense of commitment to the development of sport in our country. While I would not say I anticipated the outcome, I did believe in the vision I have and the positive impact it could have on the sporting landscape.

"I look forward to working alongside my executive committee to collaborate with stakeholders, athletes, and sport enthusiasts to ensure that our country continues to excel in the world of sport, both on and off the field," said Laka.

Laka has a lengthy spell as a member of the USSA’s national executive committee (NEC). He was a co-opted member of the NEC based on his position as secretary general at the Confederation of Universities and College Sports Associations (Cucsa) for Region 5. Laka also served the deputy chairperson from 2010 until 2012, and as chief finance and marketing officer from 2014 to 2016.

His election rewards his contribution to the body and sport, and he believes this happened at an opportune time.

"I think it was the right time, given the direction and the growth of university sport in the country. University sport continues to be a flare of hope in our country, in the region, and continent as well as playing a significant role in the global university sport environment," said Laka.

He believes his election is a reflection of the confidence instilled in him.

"I do believe that being entrusted with the role of president reflects a level of confidence from the organisation, and I see it as an acknowledgment of the skills, experience, and expertise I bring to the table," said Laka.

Born in Pretoria, he boasts prestigious feathers to his cap in academic qualifications. These range from degrees, certificates, and diplomas in law, sports management, and sports and recreation management.

He aspires to raise the bar during his term.

"I aspire for the USSA to make significant strides in fostering inclusivity, and increase in membership and participation. Additionally, we need to focus on the development of our student and staff with increased capacitation, reintroducing the provincial games as qualifiers for National USSA Championships, and the revival of our provincial committees in an effort to decentralise the work of the NEC to achieve a more inclusive, diverse, and active organisation," said Laka.

Posted by Teboho Setena on 13 Oct, 2023.
Source: News24
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