UJ Prof Wim Hollander explains sports leadership in the 21st Century

Prof Hollander discussed the dynamic environmental trends such as commercialisation, globalisation, and professionalization from a systems theory perspective within which the leader in sport has to function to change the volunteer sport organisation into a dynamic commercial business. It will require the implementation of a variety of processes, skills and tools to sustain future performance, according to Wim Hollander, a Professor in Sport and Movement Studies at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

He argued that change in the sport industry is inevitable when he delivered his inaugural address in the Council Chambers, Madibeng Building, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus on Wednesday, 17 May 2017.

Prof Hollander’s address focused on the growing need in sport for global leadership development. He stated, “Sport has become a global commodity and leaders in sport will increasingly have to understand different cultures, know how to do business in other parts of the world and be entrepreneurial in an intuitive way.” He emphasised that leaders will have to push the boundaries of the ordinary, visualise success beyond multiple challenges and be a student of the environment they are operating in. “The future leader in sport will be required to institute progressive change in the sport organisation, which means going forward with clear purpose, meaning and resilience,” he said.

He concluded saying: “This is required in order to foster growth through thinking like the customer and to stay abreast with all developments that concern them. The future leader should further be a complete leader with the ability to adapt, connect with different types of employees such as volunteers and migrants, be flexible and have interpersonal relationship skills.

Prof Hollander became Chairperson of the Department of Sport and Movement Studies in 1999 and simultaneously Chief Director Sport in 2001, to strategically position the academic programmes as well as practical components of sport in the University and the South African sport industry. This continued after the merger of the Rand Afrikaans University with Witwatersrand Technikon and Vista University in 2005, until 2007 after which the joint appointment was discontinued and he remained in the position of Executive Director Sport until 2012. He returned to the Department of Sport and Movement Studies in 2013 as professor in Sport Management, in the Faculty of Health Sciences where he is heading up the Sport Management programme and is co-ordinating the honours programme in the same field of study.

In 2007 Prof Hollander jointly received the SIRC Africa Research Award in the category Community Research for the development of the management component of the Sport in Development Impact Assessment Tool (SDIAT) as well as research undertaken in this field. Research resulted in 40 national and international reports for organisations such as Sport and Recreation South Africa, South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), England Sport, Australian Sports Commission, Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Coca Cola Africa Foundation, SAPPI Foundation, Vodacom Foundation, ABSA CSI and Nike Africa. Other awards received are the Joe Poolman Trophy, an academic prize for sport participants at RAU in 1981, Merit medal from the RAU Sport Council in 1995, Service Medal from the RAU Student Council in 1995 and Coaching award from the Gauteng Lions Coaching Association in 1997.

Prof Hollander also served on different boards such as the RAU-Kaizer Chiefs Soccer School of Excellence, University Sport Company, and the Wits Centre for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine (University of -Witwatersrand). He is further one of three members of an international independent committee, allocating, monitoring and evaluating implementation of development funds for the Commonwealth Games Federation.

See Prof Wim Hollander’s Inaugural address entitled Can you fly this space ship Captain Kirk?


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