Madibaz director of sport Yoliswa Lumka has always been interested in getting the best out of sportsmen and women and her appointment to a Sascoc sub-commission has given her another opportunity to pursue her passion.
Approached by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee to serve on their sport science, technology and research commission, Lumka said she had no hesitation in accepting the position.
“This is something I have always been interested in and it was not a big decision to accept the appointment.
“Not a lot of people are called up to serve their country because of their knowledge and experience so I’m very proud to be serving on this commission,” said Lumka, who became head of sport at Nelson Mandela University in 2015.
Having been part of SA’s high-performance system since 2008, she said she felt she had the qualifications and experience to add value to the body.
“I have been part of teams who have designed and reviewed sport science information, protocols and processes for the country.”
Lumka said the commission were tasked with the assessment of existing technical and scientific protocols, covering such areas as performance testing, monitoring and health monitoring.
“We will need to review the existing documents and update these for the coming Olympic cycle.”
Protocols covering research-related activities with relevance to Sascoc-affiliated events and athlete data also resorted under the commission, according to her.
“Sascoc’s mandate as per the National Sport and Recreation Plan is to develop and run the high-performance structure of the country.”
She added that their objective was to use the science of sport to assist in producing the best national athletes that they could.
Lumka has been involved in the commission’s work since February and provided an update on what they had achieved to date.
“We are busy reviewing athlete monitoring protocols and processes with the national federations and high-performance centres countrywide.
“The aim is to see if all national federations have monitoring systems in place and that the testing centres and providers are using standardised systems in their support provision.”
While Lumka naturally has sport at Madibaz as her top priority, she said the work with Sascoc was largely based on improving athletes on the national stage.
However, she felt there could be some spin-offs for Mandela University.
“There may be some benefits because we are in a position to assist with pilot programmes relating to the additions and upgrades to the system,” she said.