'Corporate SA treats us unfairly'

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Renowned runner Fusi Nhlapo is preparing for the Comrades Marathon on Sunday, but he has no sponsorship.

And Nhlapo is angry with the corporate world for not treating sports athletes equally when it comes to sponsorship.

He said the majority of black South African athletes were ignored or treated with disdain by companies when they needed sponsorships.

"I have won the Two Oceans Marathon in 1998 and Comrades Marathon in 2003 but I do not have a sponsorship or endorsements," said a fuming Nhlapo yesterday.

"It has been traumatic for me to prepare for this year's Comrades Marathon without financial backing. Most companies still treat us (black athletes) unfairly.

Nhlapo said he hoped the new government led by Jacob Zuma will deal with some of the challenges facing sports in the country.

"If you look at sports like rowing, swimming and shooting, a white athlete gets huge sponsorships for winning a provincial or national event.

"We have big-name athletes like Hendrick Ramaala, Frans Chauke and I, who are still treated like the stepchildren of South African sports.

Top runners like Chauke, Sipho Ngomane, Willie Mtolo and Farwa Mentoor and many others will be in action in the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.