Team SA in the Olympic VillagePosted: August 5, 2012
There is no prouder moment than looking across the Olympic Village and seeing the magnificently colourful South African flag. It really is a remarkable sight!
The Team SA office is located on Cheering Avenue in the Village (and we have had loads to cheer about in and on the water so far).
It is right opposite Village Services and the gym, near the Polyclinic and near the main dining room. Perfect location!
The office is small for the size of the squad, which is over 120 athletes. But we have all the facilities needed: printers, computers, fridge, a safe (not nailed to anything), a couch, notice boards, pigeonholes for each sport (yes, that is my handwriting – little Miss Organiser that I am) and of course a TV.
The TV channels available to the Village residents are great. They have access to all the sports without the commentary or the fluff. In the morning, the first sheet that goes up on the wall is of the events, times and venues of all Team SA athletes for the day. And this sheet ensures we have the telly on the correct channels to shout for our boys and girls. Often athletes, team managers and coaches pop in to watch a game or an event as it gets quite excitable as you can imagine.
The notice board in the office is littered with important phone number, tasks to be actioned and reminders. It is invaluable in our daily ‘running about’:
I have, of course, added a sports quote of the day. These come from famous sportsmen and women and have included Ali, Coe, Liddel etc.
The whole Rainbow Nation is behind our fabulous athletes and before the squad left SA they got corporates and sponsors to write notes of best wishes. We have put all the cards up on the wall in the corridor leading up to the lifts.
We also managed to frame a Protea shirt with all the cricketers’ signatures to wish Team SA the very best for the Games. And I put my birthday proteas (thanks to Sally and Warren) in a vase for all of us to enjoy.
The Team SA medical suit is on the first floor of the Tucana Heights block in the Heritage zone of the Village (there is a Seaside and a Countryside zone too).
The CMO (chief medical officer), Kevin Subban and his team of doctors as well as the Head Physio, Bafana Sihlali and his team have a very workable, comfortable space. If anyone watched SA vs Poland in the Beach Volley, Bafana is the one who came out to help Freedom Chiya when he got a bit winded.
The medical staff are kept busy massaging athletes, with doping services and athlete specific treatment. They have a booking system, but are of course available at any time for any of Team SA.
On the walls in the office and in the medical suit are motivational posters of South African sports men and woman, which make me smile every time I walk past one.
The most apt one is of Madiba, which is above the TV in the office. Whenever we watch an event on TV we are reminded of the important role sport has played in our country’s history, and how important it has been in building our New South Africa. Heart warming indeed!
So, with Nelson overlooking the operations of Team SA, we get on with the daily activities of co-ordinating athletes, coaches, officials, special guests and eventualities no one has even considered.
And with the odd bag of biltong or droewors floating around, it is like home from home…