SAOPA Mini Congress - No Small Feat!

The biannual SAOPA mini congress took place in Bloemfontein, in September, addressing the subject of “Orthotics and Prosthetics in Sports”. Roger Pollock, Frans Kleinhans, Jacques Swart and Leandra Immelman organised and hosted the event and well deserved the SAOPA Certificates of Appreciation awarded to them for their hard work. A full house of delegates were treated to inspirational speakers who imparted their knowledge and wisdom, including Mr Karl Becker, from Otto Bock Germany, who shared his views on Prosthetics in sports components. Carla Potgieter of Orthopaedic Suppliers tackled two tricky topics being MEDI CEP: Effect of compression socks on athletes and secondly, the successful management of Phantom Limb pain. Hetsie Veitch spoke on the role of classification in disability sport. Keep an eye out in future issues of Rolling Inspiration for more on these subjects.

The suppliers and manufacturers exhibition hall showcased some of the latest, innovative technology in the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics and it was encouraging to see several new names amongst the exhibitors. Rolling Inspiration was honoured to be amongst the judges of the Expo Stand Competition which was again won by Ossur. Congratulations to their new MD, Le Roux Viljoen, and his team, on an excellent and welcoming exhibition stand. SAOPA extended thanks to suppliers and manufacturers who exhibited their wares.


Musician, Mathys Roets, serenaded us on Friday evening at the ever popular and prestigious Gala Dinner. Bloemfontein holds a special place in his heart and Mathys never misses the opportunity to visit. Practitioners and students who received awards during the evening, for their hard work and dedication, were thrilled to pose for photos with their favourite crooner. The next day’s business included selecting the SAOPA ExCo for 2010/11.

The membership endorsed the work of the outgoing ExCo who were unanimously re-elected to serve another term. The ExCo committee remains: Chairman - Allan Oates, Vice Chairman - Silas Gidzha, Past Chairman - Riaan Knight, and committee members - Mike Barkley, Jan Brand, Johan Burger, Tanya le Roux, Brian McKibbin, Ernest Porter, Neil van de Merwe, Jacques Swanepoel, Fritz Luttich (ALF), Stanford Slabbert (Administrator). No elections were required at the ISPO SA AGM as the current committee, headed by Mike Barkley, still has one year to run. It copies the SAOPA ExCo members, excluding Neil van der Merwe, but including Gavin Shnier.

The Congress was once again a great success. Every delegate left with the new SAOPA marketing brochures and stand, a congress commemorative photograph and their SAOPA CPD certificate. SAOPA extended their thanks to Jacques Swanepoel and Sunett van Tonder, TUT, who monitored, implemented, and issued CPD certificates.

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