News: October 2017

2017 South African Sport and Recreation conference in Potchefstroom, South Africa

Michael Pedersen gave a keynote presentation and spoke in two panel sessions in the context of the 2017 South African Sport and Recreation conference. Organized by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa, the conference took place in Potchefstroom, South Africa on 3-6 October 2017. With a focus on “Sport and Recreation for Wellbeing and Economic Development”, it brought together approx. 300 stakeholders in and of South African sport for discussions about the implementation of South Africa’s National Sport and Recreation Plan.

In his keynote presentation, Michael shared perspectives on how an ethics and integrity based organizational culture of a sport organization nurtures the effectiveness of governance standards. On the basis of a participatory illustration of sport as a reflection of society, he emphasized the importance of people with political, operational and volunteer roles exemplifying the highest levels of ethics and integrity in all their decisions and actions. Along the same lines, Michael Pedersen stressed the importance of a sport organization’s leadership setting the right tone and walking its talk, acknowledging that any decision, big or small, short-term or long-term, contributes to developing a certain organizational culture. Specifically, he made the point that this implies hiring, promoting and rewarding people for the right behaviours and firing, demoting and sanctioning people for the wrong behaviours - constantly, consistently and transparently.

The two panel sessions, which Michael Pedersen spoke in, were focused on good governance in sport and gender testing in sport respectively. In the former panel session, he acknowledged that these are indeed interesting and challenging times in South African sport from a governance perspective, while also highlighting that some sport organizations in South Africa are indeed exemplifying and further defining evolving good sport governance practices internationally, for instance by having as much as 50 percent independent board members. In the latter panel session, Michael emphasized that there is a delicate balance to be struck between ensuring a levelled playing field for athletes and safeguarding the privacy rights of athletes.

Other speakers in the two panel sessions included:

  • Gerhard Geldenhuys, Director, Risk Assurance and Forensic Investigation Services, PwC South Africa
  • Leslie Sedibe, former CEO, South African Football Association

For further information, see:


Watch Michael Pedersen’s conference interview, which was broadcasted on the SABC national TV channel in South Africa. The interview includes a conversation with Khalid Galant, Chief Executive Officer, South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport.