Election delay 'hurting athletes'

THE indefinite postponement of the elections at Athletics South Africa was a major stumbling block to the development of the sport.

THE indefinite postponement of the elections at Athletics South Africa was a major stumbling block to the development of the sport.

This is according Sam Mlangeni, deputy spokesperson of interest group South African Athletes, who said they failed to understand why a new board was not elected.

Mlangeni said negotiations were at an advanced stage for the establishment of a first-ever union to look after the interests of athletes.

"There are many embarrassing things that are happening in our sport, including the Yellow Pages Series incentives allocation and non payment of athletes.

"There is no transparent communication from ASA to stakeholders, including athletes, commissions and provinces on all issues pertaining to athletics.

"During the Yellow Pages events, there was no visible marketing and this caused athletes to compete in virtual empty stadiums. The cancellation of marathon trials in East London denied our long-distance runners the opportunities to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in India in October.

"Athletes are now living hand to month. There is just no direction under this interim administration and athletics is not going anywhere.

"We are even planning to approach the chairperson of the portfolio (committee) on sport and recreation, Butana Komphela, to intervene."

Mlangeni said they were unhappy with the way ASA interim deputy administrator Richard Stander was running the sport.

"We won't allow a situation where certain individuals want us to keep quiet when things are going horribly wrong in the administration of athletics."

Stander said: "The federation has many challenges to deal with. If people chose to address issues through the media it is their democratic right."

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