Following an announcement that the MSSA (Mind Sports South Africa) is now considered in Category One by SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee), MyGaming got in contact with the MSSA’s Colin Webster, who provided some clarity on the matter.
-How is the MSSA (an organisation) included in the category of mainstream sports? Is it specifically eSports, or what are the actual codes that are now included?
“The whole of the MSSA is included. That means all of its disciplines are treated equally under such. Thus it is up to each Board of Control to make the most of it.”
-What does that mean? Will SASCOC be providing funds or support for the MSSA/eSports, and in what way?
“Please note that SASCOC does not provide funds. National Federations receive funding through their own membership fees, grants from the government, National Lottery and from sponsorships. However, it does bring eSports (and all our other disciplines) a step closer to being included in the high performance training centres run by SASCOC.”
-Does SASCOC then have power over selection of national teams?
“National Federations are responsible for selection of their own teams. However, that being said, it must be realised that SASCOC is responsible for Team SA for multidisciplinary events. Thus SASCOC and the National Federations work closely together when preparing Team SA. It should also be borne in mind that it is SASCOC that awards Protea Colours, so, when an application is made by a National Federation for Protea Colours, SASCOC will ensure that the very strict criteria are met, and while SASCOC won’t select a national team, SASCOC is empowered to approve or deny a National Federation’s request for Protea Colours.”
-What was preventing the MSSA from being added to Category 1?
“The criteria to be added to category 1 are:
- being of high profile in the country
- being popular and has a historical legacy
- have tremendously placed the country profile in the world because of its achievements
- more or less it represents either or demographics of the country
- have been part of the National Priority Codes in the Country
- having had a better share of the grant from SRSA
- have a mass appeal in terms of participation ( Played both in the rural and urban areas)
- being part of schools sports programme
- its technical needs and facilities easy to reach or improvise
To get to category 1 is thus the result of many years of hard work and effort. It is literally due to having been able to ‘tick-off’ all the boxes to satisfy the demands of SASCOC.”
-What’s is SASCOC going to providing the MSSA going forward?
“It is not a case of what SASCOC will provide the MSSA, but rather how the MSSA can use its elevated accreditation to deliver to its gamers. In fact I find it highly satisfying that in my last year of being President that I was able to achieve this major milestone. It is upon this foundation that my successor (who will be elected in at the 2013 AGM) will be able to build on to create an even more vibrant body that is far more able to achieve the goals that are shared by so many of our gamers.”