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Vermaak up for ASA role

FRESH IDEAS : New ASA chief executive Frik Vermaak
FRESH IDEAS : New ASA chief executive Frik Vermaak

NEW Athletics South Africa chief executive officer Frik Vermaak is excited at the challenge of turning around a sport that has been characterised by divisions and negative publicity recently.

Vermaak said his first priority is to change the image of ASA, which will go a long way in helping them acquire sponsorship for their activities.

The former bank executive is no stranger to athletics.

"I have been involved in athletics for a long time and was one of the people who served in the first local organising committee of the Soweto Marathon more than 20 years ago," Vermaak said.

"Our sport has deteriorated and I felt I needed to apply for the position when it was advertised. Something told me 'go in there and contribute to the success of athletics'.

"I'm not a politician, so I will leave all the political decisions in the hands of the politicians, as in the board of ASA.

"I will be dealing with administrative matters. We have to lay a solid foundation there so that all our activities will be a roaring success.

"My job is to reposition athletics and its brand, we want companies to queue once more to sponsor athletics activities, be it track and field, cross-country as well as road running. Athletics will once more be a successful sport if we do things the right way. I will be pushing that we instill an attitude of compliance."

ASA deputy president Motlatsi Keikabile is also impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by their new head administrator during the interviews.

"We have to support Frik as the athletics family, he will do well for athletics. He has some brilliant ideas that he presented to the sport, including on issues of sponsorship," he said.

"Frik told us we need to instill confidence in the business so that the corporate world will come back. We won't be successful if we do not get more companies coming to sponsor us."

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