Canoeing SA lauds overhaul of SASCOC Board
Durban - Following the election of the new SASCOC board, Canoeing South
Africa has expressed appreciation to the IOC and the national federations
that supported their demand to hold elections at the earliest possible
Canoeing South Africa has been at the forefront of a battle against the
remnants of the original SASCOC board that have done everything in their
power to delay the elections and to ensure that the acting president, Barry
Hendricks was discredited.
The SASCOC elections were originally supposed to take place in March, but
were postponed due to the restrictions imposed around the Covid-19 pandemic.
The SASCOC board had been whittled down from its original compliment due to
a number of resignations. It was divided and compromised, as many of the
board members had been nominated for re-election. It was also non
representative, as it comprised more co-opted members than elected ones.
A faction comprising five members of the board was proving to be obstructive
by continually putting hurdles in the way of the holding of the elections.
Eventually the IOC stepped in and appointed a facilitator in the form of
veteran sports activist Sam Ramsamy, and after seven months, the elections
finally took place last Saturday.
Barry Hendricks was elected as the new president, with women taking up five
of the eight board positions, Lwandile Simelane and Debbie Alexander voted
in as the two vice presidents.
None of the five obstructive board members were voted back in, some of them
failing to secure any votes at all during the elections.
President of Canoeing South Africa Kim Pople, Director of Maties Sport
Ilhaam Groenewald and the President of the South African Sports Association
for the Disabled Moekie Grobelaar have all been elected onto the new board.
As one of the smaller federations Canoeing South Africa assumed a co-ordinating
role in forcing the change to the SASCOC board, a move that president Kim
Pople says was necessary.
"It was essential that a federation drove the legitimate call for the
elections and the motions that were tabled, but that would have been futile
if it was not supported by a significant majority of other federations,"
said Pople, who was influential in the calls for SASCOC board elections.
"It takes courage to confront structures that you honestly do not believe
are fulfilling their mandate, and it has been heartening to see so many
federations and strong individual leaders step up to the plate to support
these motions and ultimately vote in a new SASCOC board.
"In essence we can now look forward to seeing SASCOC get back to
prioritising getting our men and women to compete at the highest level and
ultimately to the Olympic Games with the best chance of success," she added.
Pople was delighted at the natural representation of women on the new SASCOC
board, and said it was important to extend this into all the sub-committees
and professional structures of SASCOC and all aspects of South African
It is the first time in the history of the organisation that a black woman
has been elected to one of the top three positions and it is the first time
that two out of the top three are women.
"Our approach is about celebrating women, we believe that alongside
empowering women with the necessary growth skills we need to put emphasis on
their successes," said Pople.
"We want to focus our attention showcasing the successes of women on and off
the field, celebrating their contribution to sport and as role models in
"We want to celebrate women's diversity, and recognise that they are not a
homogeneous group, but that their diversity is itself an enrichment of our
society," she added.
“We are very grateful to Merrill King, a former Canoeing South Africa
president, who has been a long-serving and very productive member of the
SASCOC board, for all her tireless efforts,” added Pople.
President: Barry Hendricks
First Vice President: Lwandile Simelane
Second Vice President: Dr Debbie Alexander
A further five members will be co-opted onto the board.
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