Chairman of the board

YEARS of hard work as the head of the Pacific Regional office of the International Basketball Federation has paid off again for Coffs Harbour's Steve Smith.

In a meeting in New Zealand last month Smith was elected as the chairman of an international sporting body that represents major sports in the Oceania Region.

In recognition of the leading role that basketball plays across the region, Smith who is the Secretary General for the Oceania region has been elected as the Chairman of Olympic Sports Federations of Oceania (OSFO) for a four-year term.

He was unopposed in the ballot for Chairman.

OSFO represents some 30 sports including athletics, football, both rugby codes, swimming, tennis and many more major sports played across the Pacific.

“It's a bit of a personal honour but I think it's really a reflection of the work that we've been doing with basketball across the region,” a thrilled Smith said.

“It's a bit of a pat on the back from the other sports to think that they have seen what we have achieved and might want a bit of the help that we can offer as well as making a contribution to sport overall.”

OSFO held its Annual Assembly in Queenstown, New Zealand, where they were joined by 17 National Olympic Committees from across the Pacific to discuss the future of sport across the region.

The meeting was greatly honoured to have the President of the IOC Jacques Rogge present for its meeting.

Smith had met Rogge previously and he's full of praise for the man with one of the highest profile posts in world sport.

“He's a personable guy and he's very level headed,” he said.

“There are no airs or graces about him and he has a warm sense of humour. He appears straight laced but he's a nice guy.”

In the voluntary role, Smith is hoping that he can help make a difference with a lot of sports not just basketball simply by providing a larger platform to be heard from.

“In my experience when you're a lone voice in the Pacific, people will listen to you but it doesn't carry much power,” he explained.

“If we're able to push for change with a larger single voice then we instigate more change.”



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