LET'S MOVE INTO 2021 STRONGER!
We are looking forward to welcoming you again in our Provincial office during regular office hours.
As you are aware, we have entered an Alert Level 3 lockdown from 11 January 2021.
We remain committed to following our stringent procedures in line with our COVID-19 policy, full details of which have been communicated and circulated to the Clubs/Schools and published online on the AGW website.
Your health is of great concern to us, and by strictly observing the recommended hygiene measures and reduced capacity in the office at this time, please phone for an appointment.
A new year brings time for reflection. New dreams. A fresh start.
We often limit our dreams by our past disappointments. But each of us can move toward maximum effectiveness, no matter how hard 2020 have hit us. Let’s not make resolutions, let’s rather approach the New Year with resolve to find opportunities hidden in each new day.
By now we all know that crisis is an accelerator: COVID, politics, social upheaval…these have all accelerated the leadership challenges we’re all facing, but were already present. I was reminded again, on a really personal level, that the future doesn’t have to as anxiety-ridden as I’m experiencing right now. But I’m also painfully aware that it’s going to take something different than the world I was trained for, because that world doesn’t really exist anymore.
The most predictable thing about leadership today is that our leadership culture will be changing at an exponential rate that is hard to keep up with, making it feel like the ground is shifting under our feet in real time.
No matter how successful we or our federation were in the past, the things that worked even a year ago is now getting depreciating results or maybe even flatlining.
We have recognized that the long-term, systemic approach to developing a new culture was supplanted by the immediate need to cope, adapt, respond and survive the COVID-19.
This is like yeast in the dough, where one component has an outsized effect, it impacted in all the cracks and crevices of society that our people inhabit.
But there is hope!
For you who are familiar with History: The Apollo missions didn’t get to the moon on the first try. There were ten missions before that happened, with thousands of experiments along the way.
Every little experiment helps us find the future because mistakes, missteps and failure is an opportunity to learn and grow, and to emerge better prepared to face future challenges.
We’re all looking for some inspiration right now. Energy is flagging as a difficult year grinds-on. Now that people have recovered from the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and have settled into routines, we need something to lift our spirits.
It’s clear that people are eager for better times ahead, and a potential return to normalcy as distribution of COVID vaccines become more widespread.
The pandemic doesn’t have to be a goal-deterrent in 2021.
As people we have had more time to reflect on our lives this past year. As a runner we know a slow pace mid race mean we can step back and strategies the race, implementing some changes en route to finish the race strong.
As 21st century leaders we need to be reminded that to be imperfect is human, and embracing our humanity helps us connect with our teams and members.
Acknowledging our misgivings is the first step to confronting and OVERCOMING them and move forward as a value driven member federation.
Moving nearly halfway into January 2021, we as AGW’s members should embrace the AGW brand we are standing for and to be open with new members about what drives us to perform better.
Own it, share it, lift it, and celebrate it!
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
– Jane Goodall –
Try to focus on a being a thermostat, not a thermometer, and set the tone. Remain calm, remain thoughtful. If you’re looking to win a popularity contest, you’ll be frustrated.
What this COVID-19 pandemic have taught us is by sharing the personal, it humanizes and personalizes us as leaders. We started building a bridge as we have the same emotions and challenges as everyone else. It gave us the privilege of seeing inside other people’s worlds, their challenges, their concerns, and their heartbreaks. We would never be able to have this before the pandemic in quite the same way.
The great thing, 2020 has allowed is the comfort to talk about issues that were long time coming. These are things that are all now on the table and we’ve got to talk about them. I’m grateful to be part of the conversation.
Personally, my 2020 New Year’s resolution going into the year was to grow in my prayer life. Well, it happened. I prayed without ceasing for Godly wisdom and discernment as the news of the COVID-19 pandemic brought a wave of grief, anxiety, uncertainty and fear to the world in 2020.
This was heightened with the imposition of lockdowns across the world. Maintaining social distancing and leading isolated lives were an additional risk factor for stress we all are going through, especially our members who were training and competing in order to qualify for Provincial and National Championships.
Having endured the blowback that came from a postponed season and championships, then a return to limited events and competitions and then a cancelled season and championships, placed a tremendous burden on the federation and our Clubs and members.
We as humans, like to be in control of things, plan, organise, and know what’s going to happen, and the pandemic has disrupted all of that.
Who hasn’t hit the first signs of fatigue in a race and felt a bit of panic and doubt in your ability to maintain pace and achieve your goals? Suddenly, instead of feeling confident and focused on meeting the challenge, you start making excuses to explain the poor showing: the sun’s too hot, the wind’s too strong, your stomach is acting up, that gimpy hamstring is aching - you just don’t have it today. And as soon as you start down that mental path, you often don’t have it, and fulfil your fears by falling short.
These past months have brought a heaviness that prompts us as members and as a federation to look within, to inquire, re-examine, and potentially reset our goals and challenges. Challenges that are balanced with our capacity to meet it.
We’ve had to preserve. People have judge us right or wrong when events and races were postponed or cancelled, but it was a thoughtful decision aligned to ASA return-to-play guidelines, to always put the health and safety of our members first.
There are members who haven’t been in our Provincial office since March 2020…considered how I might look on a cell phone video before I call you…NOT SOON 😉…still a work in progress.
The time in lockdown helped. It’s not the fault of anyone. If anyone was looking for perfection in 2020, it didn’t exist.
While some have adjusted better as they move between grooming, zooming, and home-schooling, others have struggled, quietly grieving an old way of working where only the professional self was permitted into the office.
2021 is a year when every day will matter, growing and getting new information. We knew much more and are more prepared to return-to-play when we are allowed to do so. One of the things we will continue to do is to follow the advice from Athletics South Africa and abide by the gazetted South African Government Rules and Regulations – Disaster Management Act: adjusted alert levels during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown, amended from time to time.
We could not have personally worked through the difficulties of 2020 without knowing that you and we were doing this together.
Our world seems to be tearing itself apart with hostility and opposing camps in the news. It is encouraging to witness the opposite – kindness and overwhelming care our AGW members have shown to our fellow members, our Clubs, our broader running community, neighbours and all those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trying to put ourself in their shoes is a constant reminder in life to stay the course.
Thank you for your prayers, support and mostly your friendship.
Know that myself and the team at AGW are contending in prayer for you, your leadership and your family in 2021.
Love getting through all this with you.
Cheering for you!
ASA NATIONAL COACH, LEVEL 3
ASA EXCELLENCE ADVISOR