Gary Boshoff, General Manager of the CMA stated: “The CMA is delighted to announce that the Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education & Training Authority (THETA), one of twenty-three (23) Sector Education & Training Authorities in South Africa and the one responsible for Sport, has joined the Comrades family of sponsors and partners as a Major Sponsor for the next four years, from 2011 to 2014”.
THETA has been involved with the Comrades Marathon since 2008 when the organisation came on board to assist the CMA’s Underprivileged Runner’s Project – a project assisting underprivileged Comrades athletes with travel, accommodation and food. This partnership grew stronger in 2009 and 2010 where the CMA hosted five (5) final year Sport Management students from the Durban University of Technology (DUT) as Interns over a two-month period to gain practical experience in the workplace. The internship program laid the foundation for the present major sponsorship deal.
The importance of training and developing professionally qualified sports professionals has never been more relevant in South Africa than at the present time and the CMA and THETA hope to drive the need for greater investment in the training of sports professionals with this partnership. Through its association with the Comrades Marathon THETA will facilitate in-service training opportunities for sports professionals through the CMA and other major sports events and federations, while at the same time seeking to promote and highlight the need for employers in the sports sector, be it government, public benefit or commercial sports entities, to prioritize training and development in the South African sport industry. This is a prerequisite for sustainable improvement towards excellence and quality delivery.
Mike Tsotetsi, Chief Executive Officer of THETA is excited and enthusiastic about the prospects envisaged through the partnership and he believes that athletes from all sports and all walks of life will eventually benefit from this project. He elaborated on the partnership in the following manner: “The Comrades Marathon Association is renowned for the high standards it consistently maintains in organising an event of the magnitude of the Comrades Marathon. THETA is therefore proud to be associated with the Comrades Marathon and together we will endeavour to spread the important message of skills development, education and training, for the sports industry”.
While the partnership incorporates an extensive financial investment in The Ultimate Human Race by THETA, it is much more than a sponsorship. In fact, added Boshoff: “The projected benefits of the partnership go far beyond the Comrades Marathon; it is aimed at those underprivileged coaches, administrators, technical officials and managers who have been marginalised and excluded from the mainstream and who need support to gain the necessary expertise to be competitive in the modern sport industry”.
The CMA and THETA are committed to excellence in sport and aim to use their respective resources and brands to create opportunities and advance quality delivery in the sport industry.
COMRADES MARATHON MEDIA RELEASE 2011/2
Statement Release on Monday, 6 September 2010