Mbalula: Small federations need help

The sports minister says R10m handed over to Hockey SA is not meant to serve as a consolation token.

FILE: Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula speaks at the announcement of the new Springbok coach in Johannesburg on 12 April 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has told EWNSport the R10 million handed over to Hockey South Africa is not meant to serve as a consolation token to the federation after both its men's and women's teams didn't qualify got the Olympics.

Mbalula says this injection into the sport has nothing to do with hockey missing out on the Olympic Games.

"This R10 million isn't a replacement for Hockey South Africa. Whether they went to the Olympics or not, this would've been allocated because we prioritise federations every year."

Mbalula is confident a cash injection like this will go a long way in boosting the sport and helping Hockey SA set up a national hockey league.

"We are boosting non celebrated codes in South Africa because the only recognised and celebrated codes are rugby, cricket and football."

Mbalula says the department is on a mission to uplift the country's smaller sporting codes.

"This past year we boosted boxing with the boxing league. We are generally boosting the different federations and their initiatives. This year is the year of hockey."