BANGKOK - Internationally-renowned South African medical doctor Malumbete Ralethe has been tasked with setting up regional student sports structures on the continent to prepare for the 2008 Fasu (Federation of African University Sports) Games in Kampala, Uganda.
The decision to appoint Ralethe, a superintendent of Voortrekker Hospital in Mokopane, Limpopo, was taken at a meeting on Sunday by the student sports leaders in Africa to help set up proper structures where they are non-existent.
"The aim of Sunday's meeting was to conduct a postmortem of what transpired at the Federation of International University Sports general assembly where Africa now has four members on the executive committee.
"We were quite happy with the developments during the Fisu elections. The meeting also tabled a report on the progress of the Ugandan University Sports Federation in their preparations for the 2008 Fasu Games in July.
"The member countries were all happy with the presentation by the Ugandans, but it was agreed that we should go out and recruit more African countries to come on board on the basis that there are universities everywhere.
"Currently, we have only three regional sports structures in Africa (Southern Africa, East Africa and West Africa) who are active participants in Fasu activities. Our problem is that there are four regions which are non-existent.
"Africa has been doing well in athletics at the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the World Athletics Championships. We also want to see it happening at the World Student Games ," said Ralethe, who is also the first Fasu vice president.
Ralethe, who is now Africa's most senior Fisu executive member (assessor) after last week's elections, said the seven presidents of the African student sports regional structures will automatically become executive committee members of Fasu.
Besides the influential Ralethe, the other Africans who are serving on the Fisu executive committee are Ugandan Peninah Kabange, Assan Cheik (Algeria) and Ghanaian Sylvanus Lamptay.