Today I attended a ‘Business of Sport Indaba’ organised by the Mandela Bay Development Agency and hosted by the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
As an initiative it is certainly welcomed as one hopes that it has opened the eyes of the delegates to potential around National and International events hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay.
As sporting codes – and here I talk on behalf of Sailing – we need to bid for huge events, hold hands with the Municipality and Sponsors and deliver on what we as a City can offer as an unique experience for competitors and spectators alike.
As a city we can offer some really unique advantages:
- We are the Friendly City
- A unique African Experience
- A mild climate
- The best venue for Watersports
- Entry point to the Big Seven (Big 5 plus Whales plus Sharks) in a Malaria Free Environment
- World Class Stadium
- A Metro named for a World Wide icon – Nelson Mandela
- A Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture municipal department that has the capacity to support sporting codes and
- A local World Class event that has 18 years experience – Ironman – that we can learn from.
The one negative take away from today’s event was probably a personal one for me when a delegate stood up and railed against the plenary session panel being too male and too white. Now I understand that a good command of maths is needed for a sportsperson BUT really – this constant focus on how many people of what gender, culture and race make up a body is becoming just one more negative that holds our progress back.
Let’s focus on what the positives are that we offer as a City, get the money rolling in and then we can have our nitty gritty debates about the composition of our panels and who should teach who to swim, surf or sail.