ASA President Aleck Skhosana during the media conference at the 20th African Senior Championships in Durban June 25, 2016 / Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

Athletics South Africa concluded a successful one-day 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Garden Court OR Tambo International Hotel Isando, Kempton Park in Johannesburg on Saturday June 17.

Attended by a full house of delegates from the 17 ASA provinces, including observers and a representative from Sascoc (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee), the theme of the AGM was ‘Towards New Innovations In Athletics’.

The report by ASA President, Aleck Skhosana, covered the progress made to date and what the national federation hopes to achieve in this new four-year Olympic Cycle.

Skhosana informed on the good communication between provinces and the ASA head office. The ASA board, he said, has taken note that some members are still struggling to keep their offices afloat.

The ASA President has however, encouraged the Athletics Family to remain innovative and bring new ideas including relevant people to the athletics family in order to enhance the development of the sport.

Skhosana said the issue of funding and sponsorship is a matter that ASA is dealing with in a holistic manner. The national federation, he said, has approached specialist companies to act as agents who will look for the sponsorships for the different properties planned for the next few seasons.

The primary targets being the Track and Field Championships, Road Running Championships and Cross Country Championships, in an innovation which ASA hopes will assist a great deal in the Marketing and Sponsorship of every event ASA will organise.

Amongst those innovations, will be the return of the much loved Summer Series.

An excited Skhosana then thanked coaches, athletes, their supporting personnel and parents for working tirelessly for the success of SA athletics.

“It is an honour to have our athletes and coaches working tirelessly every day, for weeks, months and years in order to fly the flag of the South Africa,” said Skhosana.

He explained that the national federation remains focused and continues to send formidable teams of youth, junior and senior athletes to fly the flag of SA at major international events.

The President noted that the team that was in Zimbabwe brought back 24 medals made of nine golds, 11 silver and four bronze medals from the CAA Southern Region Senior Championships on 10-11 June. Skhosana said ASA is confident that teams to the other championships will also bring honour and glory.

He said that highly ranked and rated athletes in the IAAF and CAA lists are selected for the CAA African Junior Championships in Algeria on 29 June-2 July 2017, IAAF World Youth Championships in Kenya on 12-16 July 2017 and the 16th IAAF World Championships in England on 4-13 August 2017.

“London is going to be a high profile event where Caster Semenya, Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine, Luvo Manyonga, Sunette Viljoen and many other top performers will be there to fly the national flag high.”

Skhosana said ASA is sending powerful teams, some of whom are gold medal prospects and through these contests ASA hopes to improve the rankings of SA. He also reported on the turnaround that the ASA Board has had since they were first elected in 2014.

He also reported on another success story.

“In 2014 we came in to discover that ASA was on the brink of losing everything including Athletics House due to a High Court default judgement of R12 million. ASA Board is happy that after three years, we have finally settled this bill.

“While they are other pending legal matters that also came from the previous administration which involve technical officials who were injured during the competition, ASA are defending these matters in the High Court and we hope we will resolve and finalise these matters in the near future.

“We have reached a position where our finances are beginning to look good since we took office and had to deal with a debt in the region of R27 000 000 which we have settled,” Skhosana explained, to a round of applause. “Our stringent planning that we put in 2014 has paid positive results as we still manage to present the best of the best to all IAAF and CAA competitions.”

As soon as dates are confirmed, the ASA Board will now visit provinces to assess development and transformation on the ground, including ensuring that Members have aligned their constitutions with that of the ASA, CAA and the IAAF.