Let's support our athletes at Olympic Games
THE presidential send-off for the London-bound Team SA last Thursday at Sefako Mapogo Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Tshwane was phenomenal.
President Jacob Zuma gave the marching orders to the troops as they prepare to conquer the world.
The atmosphere was electric, with our Olympians and Paralympians getting direct orders individually from the country's first citizen.
We call upon all South Africans to support Team SA as they depart for London to make the country proud. We are the sons and daughters of warriors who shaped this country and expect Team SA to carry that warrior spirit.
In London these martyrs, who will be flying our flag, will not be alone.
We have assembled a strong support team to provide a home away from home atmosphere for Team SA through the eKhaya Hospitality Centre.
The government, through Sport and Recreation South Africa, sister departments and agencies, initiated the eKhaya Hospitality Centre, primarily to profile South Africa's image to the world and drum up support for Team SA for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The eKhaya Centre will promote and market South Africa by showcasing its successes at stadia and other places that host international events.
To save on transport costs, the steering committee will be accommodated at the Charing Cross Hotel on Trafalgar Square.
This is near the South Bank Events Centre on the River Thames. The hospitality centre will be open from eight in the morning during the Games.
We will host journalists, business people, the general public and sports people at eKhaya. We will also profile our athletes and political principals.
EKhaya's steering committee has a responsibility to ensure that the huge number of visitors leave the centre satisfied.
All the stakeholders at eKhaya work closely with the Sport Trust to ensure that logistical arrangements for Team SA are perfect.
We urge all South Africans who cannot make it to London to show their support by wearing national colours every Friday and continue following Team SA in the media.
l With more than 50-million South African hearts behind Team SA, our expectation of 12 medals is not an impossibility.
I will personally be visiting the Athletes' Village in London to wish them all the best on their quest to make South Africa proud.
As part of my activities in London, I will also be attending the Commonwealth Ministers of Sport meeting, which, among other things, will discuss the development of sport in all Commonwealth countries.
We are hopeful that the outcome of the meeting will inject renewed energy for the development agenda of all the Commonwealth countries for future success in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A reyeng banna le basadi!
Let's do it for Mandela ...