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SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS CONFEDERATION AND OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

Deputy Minister praises Golden Lions club

After Deputy Sports Minister Mr Gert Oosthuizen watched a display of Golden Lions Gymnastics at their club in Newlands, Johannesburg, he decided not to read his prepared speech.

“After what I have just seen, let me speak from my heart,” he said.

“Today I have seen diamonds grown out of these rough suburbs of Westbury and Newlands. ┬áI have seen smiling faces of children happy, dedicated and displaying some world class performances in acro gymnastics,” he said.

Oosthuizen praised coach Natalia Prokopchik and club owner Wessel Oosthuizen for what he called, incredible work that they do.

“Just to think that it is only these two people who have established this facility and produced 24 gold medallists at the National championships out of 25 gymnasts entered.”

Oosthuizen lead a group of ANC members of Parliament, Provincial legislature and Johannesburg City Councilors on a fact finding visit to the club.

The visit coincided with the club’s annual prize-giving event and the Deputy Minister also handed the club’s top prize, Gymnasts of the Year to 11-16 Mixed Pair of Cheslyn Glade and Kathlego Moahadi.

The young mixed pair are Golden Lions Gymnastics’ medal contenders for the 2014 Acro World Age Groups Championships.

The event was also attended by South African Gymnastics Federation’s (SAGF) sponsor Jodell de Sousa, Jaap Coetzer and Nico Styen of Algrodex and other prominent members of the Westbury community.

“I am a politician and cannot make any promises,” the Deputy Minister joked, ‘but I’ll talk to Father Christmas and ask him if there is a present for Golden Lions Gymnastics, this year,” he joked.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCO) president Gideon Sam was away on business but sent his apologies and said: “We have for years known what is going on at Golden Lions Gymnastics and we have always supported the club in whichever way we could. Very good work is done at the club,” he said.