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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

For athletes by athletes says new ASA Boss Moloi as he makes getting sponsors his first priority

Aleck Skhosana cut a lonely figure as he made a speedy exit from the Southern Sun Hotel in Kempton Park where a watershed Athletics South Africa election took place on Saturday. Once it had been announced that his six year reign as ASA boss was over following a 39 - 27 vote loss to James Moloi, Skhosana didn't bother to wait for the final results and was seen darting out of the venue just after it had been announced that Shireen Noble had won the vice presidency.

ASA's newly elected board with Moloi (blue shirt and blue tie) picture in the centre next to his vice president Shireen Noble. Photo Credit ASA Media.

Although the media was later informed that Skhosana had been in a hurry to catch his flight after proceedings were delayed by several hours, the conspicuous absence of the customary handshakes and throaty political laughter on his way out told the tale of a man who had paid the price for inaction. Where Skhosana had been criticised for his lack of will to reopen the sport after the onset of the Covid19 lockdown, Moloi was celebrated for his bravery in leading Central Gauteng Athletics. The regional athletics body hosted provincial cross country and road championships where the national federation was skittish.

Moloi intends to continue on that path saying he aims to do more for athletes during his time as president. "I feel great because at the end of the day people were crying saying they want to be lead by former athletes, the former athletes are back now and we know what we are doing and we know the pain of athletes," said the man who was himself a top runner two decades ago, having spent time racing in France. In fact Moloi's new board comprises a number of former national & international athletes including Hendrick Mokganyetsi who is the new chairperson of the Athletes' Commission, Enock Skhosana who heads up road running and Jean Verster who will lead the Track and Field Commission.

Moloi (left) is a former long distance athlete. Here he is pictured before the start of a race alongside 1996 Olympic Marathon champion Josiah Thugwane. Photo Credit: Tiyani Khoza Mustang.

"We know the suffering of our athletes. It's time to go back to the drawing board to make athletes happy together with our coaches and technical officials. We must try to get more sponsors for our athletes and more sponsors for our events so that Athletics South Africa can be one of the top, top federations in South Africa," he smiled as he explained his vision.

Moloi and company inherit a federation on its knees with many of the provinces left bankrupt by a 2020 that wreaked havoc on a sport whose primary income had been historically derived from the organisation of mass participation events, which were laid to waste by the lockdown. The former CGA boss believes that one of the ways to attract financial backers is to offer more live television coverage of ASA events which is his first priority. "It's so important when have championships that they are live on TV so everyone can see the work that we are doing. That one is my priority," he said.

ASA Board:

President: James Moloi

Vice President: Shireen Noble

Track & Field: Jean Verster

Road Running: Enock Skhosana

Cross Country: Jakes Jacobs

Athletes' Commission: Hendrick Mokganyetsi

Additional Member: Esther Malema

Additional Member: Adelinah Ranthimo

Additional Member: Norma Nonkonyane

Additional Member: Ntathu Gwadiso

USSA Representative: Jazz Mnyengeza

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