The Overstrand Sports Festival which took place at the Hawston Sports Grounds on Saturday, 5 October 2013 turned out to be a success despite the rain. The weather did not stop sport lovers from going to watch their favourite sporting codes and to see and mingle with the Olympians who brought the gold torch to the event.
At the start of the program the Olympians (who included Cameron van der Burgh, John Smith Sizwe Ndlovu, Matthew Brittain and James Thompson) handed over a gold torch to Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie who accepted it on behalf of the Overstrand Municipality. The event was officially opened with the singing of the South African National Anthem led by Nelson Nkanunu, an Overstrand Municipal employee, and thereafter the International Olympic anthem was also sung.
The Mayor was honoured to receive the torch which is the symbol of the Olympic Games. It was such an amazing moment for her to be able to hold the gold torch that has been seen around the world.
On the stage the Mayor was joined by guest of honour Gideon Sam, President of the South African Olympic Committee, and Dr Ivan Meyer, Provincial Minister of Cultural Affairs, Sports and Recreation, all of who were excited to be part of the event.
In her speech Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie welcomed everyone and further shared that “sport is a great way to unite the people of Overstrand, and as the Centre of Excellence, Overstrand Municipality was honoured to be hosting the event in Hawston where different sports codes were combined for the entertainment of every sports lover.
“Your attendance already makes it a wonderful occasion, and I am pleased to say that we are also very fortunate this year to be joined by a group representing the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee led by Gideon Sam, and our guest of honour, Dr Ivan Meyer, Provincial Minister of Sport, Culture and Recreation. Welcome!
The true stars of the day, though, are Overstrand’s top teams who will be competing in soccer, rugby, cricket and netball. But there is yet another 'first' this year: today, we will also have the pleasure of watching the disabled compete in board games – a warm welcome to you, too!
And to make the day even more enjoyable, the rest of us can partake in fun-runs and cycling events, enjoy live entertainment by our favourite bands and nibble on lots of goodies while we cheer on our teams.
Apart from affording our athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents, I hope this day will encourage all our people to become involved in sport”, said Nicolette Botha-Guthrie. President of SASCOC Mr Gideon Sam added to what the Mayor said that “sport is very important and should be introduced to young people at a very early age. He said, “visiting the Overstrand and witnessing young children participating in sport makes him proud to be associated with the Overstrand Sports Festival". Mr Sam emphasized that an environment is very important and young people should look after their environment.
SASCOC is about affording young people an opportunity to be stars in the near future. "These children stan-ding in front of me today must look up to the Olympians; they did not just land where they are - they started very small, but today are known worldwide. I would like to motivate teachers and parents to assist in making sure that our children live their dreams”, said Mr Sam.
After that the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer addressed the audience. In his speech Dr Meyer pointed out that “ it is indeed an honour for which I, on behalf of the people of the Western Cape, am grateful and therefore wish to express my gratitude to the President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Mr Sam Gideon and his CEO, Mr Tubby Reddy for entrusting the Western Cape with the singular honour of hosting the National Olympic Day 2013.
It is a singular honour because just like South Africa had one opportunity to host the FIFA 2010 World Cup so, too, has this Overstrand region been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host Olympic Day”. “The Olympic movement encapsulates the dreams and aspirations of every sport lover. It grabs the imagination and puts on display the best of the human spirit bravery and courage in its purest form as the athlete competes for the ultimate prize in sport - the Gold Medal.”
Dr Meyer shared the power of the Olympic Gold Medal and the impact it has on every sport enthusiast on this planet. He said it was recognised in 2012 by the Western Cape Government when Premier Helen Zille took the unprecedented step to remove photographs of politicians from the walls in her media room and replace them with the photos of Olympic Gold Medallists, Charles Bouwer, Fanie van der Merwe, Ilse Hayes and Arnu Fourie. “The Overstrand Sport Festival is today being given the opportunity to bask in the successes of the athletes present today. These athletes are our athletes. Their achievements bring us joy and pride. They fuel our sense of patriotism and regardless of who we are their performances bring the nation to a standstill in a spirit of nationhood …..one anthem, one flag, one emblem and one South Africa”, said Dr Meyer.
The games started and different teams played on various fields and the results were as follows: Rugby: Hawston won 27-7 against Black Leaves; In the rugby final Hawston played against Hermanus and Hawston won 20-18. Netball: Hermanus beat Seastars 22-15. Ladies soccer: Mighty Ladies 3 vs Real Pioneers 2. Men's soccer: Super Eagles 4 vs Early Birds 1. Cricket could not be played due to the weather.