Great insight and views shared
on Day One of the 10th International Forum on Elite Sport
Durban - Day One of the 10th International Forum on Elite Sport
kicked off with a bang as experts in various fields of the
sports fraternity took to the stage to share knowledge and
“The Forum got off to an excellent start” says Brendon
Goodenough, Chairperson of the LOC and MD of Prime Human Prime
“I was particularly proud of the SA speakers. There were
numerous compliments from international delegates about the
quality of the presentations, proving yet again that our
scientists and business leaders are among the best in the
Gary Kirsten, former coach of the World Cup winning Indian
Cricket Team was first to share with the 300 strong crowd his
experiences in leadership in high performance environments. The
self-proclaimed “reluctant leader” opened by establishing that,
to him, more than anything “Leadership means making a
significant difference in someone’s life.”
“One of the fundamental keys is to first gain the trust of the
team and find a bigger purpose in them that encourages them to
be better sportsmen. In the search for purpose is where
champions are made,” South Africa’s former opening batsman said.
“Through research with leading sportsmen and women, I have
learned that the qualities that they desire most in their
leaders are integrity, approachability, humility and empathy
Because not everything is about you as a leader. It’s about the
players in the team.”
Dr Phatho Cele-Zondi, CEO of the Sports Science Institute of
South Africa said that leadership is looking beyond all
components that tell you that you cannot, to believing that you
can. “Re-thinking leadership to me meant learning to swim with
the sharks and showing that I am strong,” said Dr Zondi.
She added that leaders are people who acknowledge reality and
offer hope. They can bring people together and build bridges.
Peter Pfitzinger and Martin Dowson (GM of Capacity and Expertise
and GM of Athlete Performance Support at High Performance Sports
New Zealand), spoke on sustainable excellence. They both agreed
that leadership was an integral part of building sustainability.
“To sustain excellence one must understand the value proposition
and be updated on trends,” said Dowson. They added that the
creation of a great environment and culture opens the windows to
a clear vision amongst athletes.
“In New Zealand we work as a team, as teamwork is very vital in
accomplish what you seek to accomplish. All our team players are
valuable to us and that is what makes us strong.”
Ross Tucker, Sports Scientist for World Rugby spoke of talent
identification of champions. He said that one of the biggest
challenges in the sporting industry is limited resources.
Tucker said that it is important for athletes to be personally
developed before being given “champion” status, insisting that
champions must be given an opportunity to grow before they are
placed in an elite competition level.
The second day of the international conference is currently
underway with insightful speakers sharing the platform. Speakers
include; Dr Gael Guilem, Dr Francesc Cos and Xavi Reche who are
tackling the topic of Innovation and Technology in Elite Sport.
They will be followed by Dr Akshai Mansingh, Shaun Pollock and
Ian Thomas who will speak on Teamwork.
For further details on the conference and other speakers, please
CONTACT: Ms Taweni Gondwe Xaba
10th International Forum on Elite Sport
+27 (0) 720232552 /