August 7 - A new National Training Centre in Bloemfontein has been launched today by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
It is a partnership between SASCOC, the Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and Mangaung Municipality.
"According to our mandate, that of team preparation and team delivery, the NTC (National Training Centre) fulfils that role," said SASCOC President Gideon Sam (pictured top).
"The launch of the NTC (National Training Centre) is a culmination of years of consultation and discussion with stakeholders.
"We are happy that the Free State government saw it fit to support this initiative, which in all respect is a national endeavour to improve the performances of athletes at international level."
The driving force behind the new facility is to provide a high quality base for national federations (NFs) across South Africa, where they can access training facilities, scientific and medical support services and referrals to specialists while at the camp.
Currently, the federations are forced to hire out private training centres when they have athletes preparing for competitions, and they claim that the cost of doing so is proving difficult to sustain.
The use of facilities at the new centre in Bloemfontein will be free of charge to national federations.
"At SASCOC, we strive to create a conducive environment for sport in South Africa through improving and allowing easy access to our sporting infrastructure," said Tubby Reddy, the SASCOC chief executive.
"Our aim is that the NTC aids positively to sport and allows athletes to perform at the best of their abilities."
Premier of the Free State province, Ace Magashule said: "The Free State Provincial government welcomes the opening of this training centre in Mangaung.
"We support any sport initiative that places our young people at the centre, as it drives them away from crime and sluggish lifestyles.
"We view sports as an effective tool in social change; it instils discipline and patience in participants.
"Most importantly, the role of sports in nation-building cannot be over-emphasised.
"It has the power to accommodate people regardless of race, gender, age and creed.
"We take delight in the existence of centres like these in our province, as they positively promote societal values we expect our young people to engage in."
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