Lucas honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Gauteng Sports Awards
On Friday night, Lucas was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Gauteng Sports Awards at Monte Casino in Johannesburg.
The Gauteng Sport Awards is a programme of the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation. MEC: Ms. Molebatsi Bopape.
Their aim is to inspire South African youth and to create an environment that is conducive to the development of sporting excellence, recognition of talent and inspiration of future generations.
Read Lucas’ emotional and inspiring acceptance speech below:
“I am extremely honoured and humbled to accept this award. I am proud to join the illustrious list of past recipients, many of whom I have admired and have been an inspiration to me.
I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Ms. Molebatsi Bopape and the Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation of the Gauteng Province for nominating me for this award. I send out an enormous salute to all of this year’s nominees, each one of whom have made incredible contributions to sports in South Africa, and again, I am humbled to receive this award amongst this incredible group of nominees.
When I started out playing football on a dusty pitch in Diepkloof all those years ago I couldn’t have dreamed where it would end up. I played football because I loved it, not for awards and recognition and personal achievement. As you know, growing up in South Africa during the era in which I started to play professionally, a black South African couldn’t have even dreamed of captaining an English Premier League team, let alone leading the national team to two successive World Cups. None of this seemed possible.
Madiba helped change that. He was a man who believed in the power of sport and a man who I owe my career to. He made it possible for black South Africans to dream and to lead. He taught me humility, generosity, courage and integrity. Madiba also taught me how sport could be used as an indomitable force for social change, and how it could impact individuals, communities and nations.
I would not be standing here today if not for him, and I feel the responsibility to continue working in his image, to motivate and galvanize South Africa’s next generation. Children were at the heart of Madiba’s philanthropic vision, and like him, they are at the heart of mine.
I believe that education, opportunity and upliftment, when combined, provide everyone with the basis of reaching their potential in achieving their dreams and since my retirement my focus has revolved around sports, education and social development; supporting and leading programmes ranging from schools tournaments, mentoring and community engagement.
With that in mind, I have decided to donate the full amount of the R30,000 that comes with this award, to charity.
If you provide more young people with opportunities, skills, and a positive winning mentality, you inspire them to achieve. This is at the heart of everything I do.
– Lucas Radebe (Acceptance Speech, Gauteng Sports Awards 2014)