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Monday, 09 August 2010 23:14

SA Youth Olympic Team Heads for Singapore!

Team South Africa wing their way into history when they head east for Singapore on Monday. The occasion is the inaugural Youth Olympics to be held between 14-26 August and the young South Africans will be part of a ground-breaking experience at this new multi-sport event.

Sunday saw the team assemble at Birchwood Conference Centre, in Ekurhuleni east of Johannesburg for a send-off function prior to their departure. This Team of 63 athletes and 28 officials was announced by SASCOC President, Mr Gideon Sam in July. Chef de Mission is Hockey South Africa's Dave Carr while SASCOC's Leon Fleiser is the Project Manager.

The Youth Olympics is a cultural and education event as much as it will be one of sporting excellence with the team expected to gain much in terms of all areas. South Africa's team representatives will take part in 14 of the 26 sports and culture and education programmes.

Sam, when he named the squad, spoke of the core Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect and said those fortunate enough to be selected would also be richer for the experience and wealthier for friendships made within the Team and among athletes from other nations.

On Sunday he added: "This gathering of young men and women today is indeed an historic occasion. All of them are part of something unique in the sporting first that is the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore later this month. We obviously wish them well for this exciting venture from both the sporting and cultural point of things.

"What the team must realise is that apart from the fact that this event may set them up to be possible future Olympic champions, it also gives them the opportunity to be ambassadors for their country and show the world just what a great country they represent."

The team were also treated to motivational pep-talks by Beijing Olympics BMX finalist Sifiso Nhlapo, who last week won silver at the World BMX Championships in Pietermaritzburg and Paralympic weightlifting star Moekie Grobelaar.

In the build-up to the Youth Olympics, more than 500 fulltime Singaporean staff have worked for the past two and a half years with 1000 government assigned staff and 20 000 volunteers. The Games will see 3 600 athletes between 14 and 18 years of age and 1400 officials from 205 National Olympic Committees converge for the occasion.

Organisers are expecting that 1200 media representatives and 400 000 spectators will attend the two week youth carnival.

For more information on the Youth Games, go to


Athletics: Maryke Brits (long jump), Valentina Da Rocha (triple jump), Kayla Gilbert (100-metre hurdles), Thato Makhafola (1000m), Simone Meyer (discus), Izelle Neuhoff (400m), Schalk Burger (400m hurdles), Migael Celliers (pole vault), Willem du Plessis (discus), Ruan Greyling (400m), Dylan Jacobs (javelin), Stiaan Minnie (hammer), Siphelo Ngqabaza (200m), Rudolf Pienaar (long jump), Frans Schutte (shot put). Officials - Elinda Vorster, Andre Sinclair

Aquatics: Oneida Cooper (100m backstroke/200m Individual Medley), Natasha de Vos (200m backstroke/400m freestyle), Kyla Ferreira (100m freestyle/200m freestyle), Taryn Anne Mackenzie (200m breaststroke/50m breaststroke), Dylan Bosch (200m IM), Pierre Keune (100m freestyle), Chad le Clos (100m butterfly/200m butterfly/200m IM/200m freestle/400m freestyle), Murray McDougall (100m backstroke/50m butterfly). Officials - Graham Hill, Melanie Wagner.

Basketball: Nkosinathi Festile, Duke Lazarus, Tshegofatso Modise, Justin Paton. Official - Zithulele Nxumalo

Canoeing: Kerry Segal, Luke Stowman. Official - Michael Jack Chiazzari

Cycling: Jayde Julius (road), Lunga Mkhize (BMX), Teagan O'Keefe (BMX), Luke Roberts (MTB). Official: Elton Davids

Equestrian: Samantha McIntosh. Official: Chad Cunningham

Fencing: Wanda Matshaya. Official: Randall Daniels

Gymnastics: Claudia Cummins (artistic), Reinhard Huisamen (trampoline), Lolanthea Louw (trampoline), Ryan Patterson (artistic), Aimee van Rooyen (rhythmic). Officials: Ilse Laing (artistic), Chris van der Walt (trampoline), Maureen van Rooyen (rhythmic)

Hockey: Keisha Arnolds, Stephanie Baxter, Quanita Bobbs, Jenna-Leigh Du Preez, Kirsty Gibbings, Sarah Ive, Tiffany Jones, Jacinta Jubb, Bronwyn Kretzmann, Phumelela Mbande, Zimisele Shange, Hlubikazi Sipamla, Charne van Biljon, Toni-Leigh Van Niekerk, Marlene Wessels, Sinethema Zungu. Officials: Robert Pullen, Belinda Scott

Rowing: Juliet Donaldson, Akane Makume. Official: Browyn Jackson

Triathlon: Wian Sullwald. Official:  Richard Woolrich

Weightlifting: John Ramela: Official : Aveenash Pandoo

Wrestling: Leonard Gregory, Andries Schutte. Official: Christo Lottering

Medical: Kevin Subban (Chief Medical Officer), Merike Saayman (Chief Practioner), Rannoa Ntseke (physio), Shantal Edwards (physio), Marlene Naicker (physio)

General team management: Dave Carr (chef de mission), Leon Fleiser (project manager), Chantelle Jardim (athlete services), Vicky Hlatshwayo (logistics), Clifford Cobers (logistics), Devon van der Merwe (young ambassador)