Stellenbosch University Chief Director: Maties Sport, Ilhaam Groenewald was elected as a board member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), during the confederation's quadrennial meeting held on Saturday, 7 November 2020.
Groenewald is part of a team of eight elected board members, with four additional members to be co-opted in the near future. Her term of office is four years.
When asked why she thought she should be considered as a candidate for the position, Groenewald said there is a need for ethical leadership with a vision that will develop a turnaround strategy, as well as people who are committed to good governance. “Most importantly, I believe I am someone who can develop business solutions to harness more success for sport in South Africa."
Groenewald said a primary responsibility is the need to re-focus SASCOC's commitment to our country's athletes, coaches, medicine and sport science support staff. “Our high-performance strategy will only be sustainable with a well-supported sport development pathway, that will identify the best talent – work that our SASCOC members are already doing. What we need is to have a strategy backed by different forms of investment. My hope is for a complete turnaround of the organization that will build and gain trust to will ensure a sustainable SASCOC for sport in South Africa."
Groenewald is particularly excited about the composition of the board, with elected members consisting of 62,5% elected women. Says Groenewald: “not only for being women but for their qualifications, skills, experience and expertise they can bring to the team. The board has the responsibility to build a team committed to our country's diversity and culture of excellence."
She explained that SU would remain the core and centre of her responsibility and said that she is excited about the role of university sport and how it greatly contributes to the SA sports industry. “I believe that pockets of opportunities exist for SU and Maties Sport that can strengthen our commitment to South African sport. “Our University's commitment to sport is supported by our people, places and practices, including our commitment to operational excellence at all levels.
I look forward to sharing and learn from other models of sporting successes in SA and globally.
In congratulating Groenewald on her election, SU's Chief Operating Officer, Prof Stan du Plessis, said the University is thrilled that our Chief Director will play this larger role in South African sport. “Ilhaam Groenewald brings a wealth of experience to the SASCOC board, and we expect that her contribution will be very constructive for the SA Olympic sporting codes."