Keynote Address by Honourable TW Nxesi MP, Minister of Sport and Recreation at the Regional Annual Sports Awards 2017
27 May 2017, Birchwood Hotel
Minister Jose Albino of Angola
Minister MakhosiniHlongwane of Zimbabwe
Mr Salazar Picardo, General Director of the National Institute of Sport, Mozambique
Leaders of sporting federations and confederations
Most importantly: the nominees, athletes and sports officials
Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome all - and particularly to our guests from the other member countries of Region 5 of the African Union Sport Council - to this the second edition of the Regional Annual Sport Awards. It gives me great pleasure, as Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa to host this prestigious event, and I assure you of our resolve - as Region 5 - to sustain and strengthen the Regional Annual Sports Awards as we go forward together.
Indeed it is our constitutional mandate as the African Union Sports Council Region 5 to hold Regional Annual Sports Awards in order:
* To recognize sports achievers within the region, and
* To deliver on the Region's Vision of being Africa's leading Sport Region through Innovation and Excellence.
More generally, the African Union Sports Council - formerly known under the OAU as the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa - seeks to use sport to promote peace, integration and unity in Africa. It also seeks to promote capacity building and cooperation in sport, as well as to encourage equitable access to sport and recreation, especially for women and people with disabilities.
The RASA takes place during the month of May - celebrated across the continent as 'Africa Month' - when citizens embrace their African heritage and join us in celebrating African sporting excellence, innovation and achievement nationally, regionally, continentally and internationally.
The RASA theme is "Celebrating Excellence, Inspiring Innovation". This means identifying and show-casing the talents and stories of the Region's athletes and profiling excellence and innovation in the sporting family.
The ten member states of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 are: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. All member countries are expected to host their own National Sports Awards preceding the RASA. Winners of the countries' national sports awards then become nominees for RASA.
Our task now is to ensure that all member states hold annual national awards.
Allow me to thank all those who have helped organise this event - the ministers, the officials, the panel judges, the sports journalists, the sports bodies from all of the member countries.
Let me conclude by congratulating the nominees and the award winners - you are all role-models and champions. You are living proof of the sentiments expressed by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, and I quote:
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation… We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
Let us continue to celebrate Excellence and to inspire Innovation.