ASA gets set for 2010 track and field season

ATHLETICS South Africa interim board has assured athletes that the 2010 track and field season will get under way in January as per tradition.

Hendrick Ramaala, interim board member, said they were working as a collective to put together "a great show" for the season opener series.

In the past, the series was sponsored by Yellow Pages which are set to make a comeback alongside Nedbank.

The two companies withdrew from ASA after the Caster Semenya gender verification debacle, which resulted in the suspension of the Leonard Chuene-led board.

The companies assured the interim board on Saturday where they made it clear they were keen to continue assisting ASA financially, but will be more involved in the planning.

"The track and season is definitely on, but we are working hard to get a sponsorship," said Ramaala.

The internationally renowned athlete said they needed to create a platform to enable athletes to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel, I was happy in the manner in which Ray Mali (ASA administrator) handled our first meeting.

"Ray is a great leader, I strongly believe we should let him continue as chairperson and interim president of the board until the elections."

Mali said: "The big challenge now is to prepare for next year with the Commonwealth Games, and looking ahead to the 2012 Olympics in London.

"Our preparation for these events needs to progress and stay on course. Our domestic season will continue and by the end of April we must have a new board in place."

Sascoc project manager Khaya Majeke is working with interim board members James Evans (Western Province) and Aleck Skhosana (KwaZulu-Natal) to draw up the programme.

Sowetan has learnt that plans are already under way to get a chief executive officer for ASA sometime next year, with names of Banele Sindani and Dumile Mateza, also bandied about.