ASA move admirable

Athletics South Africa (ASA) have gone back to school as part of their plans to grab more medals during the 2012 London Olympics Games.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) have gone back to school as part of their plans to grab more medals during the 2012 London Olympics Games.

This was after Khotso Mokoena, a seasoned jumper, won South Africa's one and only medal at the Beijing Olympics in China last August.

The move by ASA president Leonard Chuene and his executive committee to take their development programme to schools is highly commendable.

They have also roped in Ziggy Mutangwa, president of the school's athletics federation, into their executive committee to ensure the programme runs smooth.

ASA says their programme is based on the model used by the Kenyans, Ethiopians and Jamaicans, who have proved to be unbeatable in athletics competitions.

It is a long overdue move that all our sporting codes should not only consider implementing, but make it their business to channel more funds into it.

When some of us were growing up during the dark days of apartheid, institutions of learning were always invaded by talent scouts in search of new talent.

Sports officers from the mines also used to go to the soccer, boxing and athletics events at the schools knowing very well that they would find raw diamond in abundance there.

We all knew that Wednesdays were dedicated sports days in the villages and townships, almost everybody had to be directly or indirectly take part.

It is therefore not surprising that great sports men and women like Jomo Sono, the late Ace Ntsoelengoe (both soccer), Peter Ngobeni (athletics), Marcel Winkler (athletics), Portia Dimu (netball) and many others, were spotted while playing for their respective schools.

I was so happy to hear President Kgalema Motlanthe the other day saying we should revive the Wednesday sports days at our schools when he met the South African Soccer Legends as part of the 2010 World Cup legacy project.

As a way forward, Motlanthe, a former soccer player in Soweto and Tshwane, should get the departments of education and sports and recreation to fast-track the process of bringing back the once popular Wednesday sports days.

That will also help in terms of government's plan of mass participation in sports. The sooner the Wednesday sports days are revived, the better for our country.

But then, of course, we need to have less talk but more action.

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