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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

KZNA thanks provincial government for bailing them out to make championships a success

KwaZulu-Natal Athletics( KZNA) Track & Field Chairperson Khura Buthelezi has applauded the provincial Sports department for coming to their aid by putting up the money required to stage a successful 4 day combined Junior and Senior Track & Field Championships at the Kings Park Stadium in Durban this weekend. Buthelezi, who is one of the front runners for the KZNA to take the presidential role in the upcoming elections scheduled for 3 April, says the coastal federation would not have had the financial muscle to the stage without the government's assistance. Especially in light of the additional burden placed on event organisers by the Covid19 protocols.

" It's very difficult to host an event in these challenging times," explains Buthelezi. "But as the federation, we work with Athletics South Africa (ASA) as the mother body as they sent us the Covid19 protocols that we had to adhere to. From December, we started to have meets. And as the committee, you must sit down to draw up a strategy. We have to consider people lives first, then afterward the game would go on. And the provincial sports department deserves praise for coming on board with the financial back up," he said.

KZNA which was also placed under administration by the mother body ASA, has been battling financially. Photo Credit: ASA Media.

Several athletes managed to hit the qualifying standards necessary to represent KZNA at next month's ASA Track & Field Championships which look like to be held in Pretoria at the Pilditch Stadium. But Buthelezi says their fate so far as their ability to travel to the championships is concerned, will be decided by the funding that KZNA will receive from the provincial sports office. ASA have made it clear that they can only accommodate a certain number of athletes at the games due to Covid19 regulations.

"We are working with KZN DSR (Department of Sports and Recreation) on the selection of the team since we have given them the results from all the events," reveals Buthelezi. "We are hoping to announce the team tomorrow then present it to the DSR. Remember before the Covid 19, we would look at the KZNA budget then decide on the number of athletes we would like to send. But now the federation doesn't have money which means we rely on DSR. The discussions are at a latter stage, so we will finalize it soon. But at the same time, we must align with Athletics South on how many athletes they can accommodate at the Championships," he said.

Mbuleli Mathanga is KZNA's top 10 000m runner at the moment. He will be hoping to fly the province's flag by winning a medal at the ASA Senior Track & Field Championships next month. Photo Credit: Cuan Walker.

Buthelezi is ecstatic with golden homeboy Mbuleli Mathanga excellent showing on Friday in the 10 000m event where he ran yet another provincial record 28:03 to finish behind Precious Mashele. He believes Mathanga's future is in good hands under the guidance of coach Mdu Khumalo. "It's was an outstanding and wonderful performance by Mathanga," said an elated Buthelezi.

"Remember in the 10 000m meetings before the championship he broke the record. He ran 28:24, then on Friday he broke his own record running 28:03. It shows that our athletes are willing to compete. In the league meetings, athletes from outside the province were invited to participate so it helped him to compete against other quality athletes. So he was testing himself and they pushed him to be on another level. He is a young boy and going to be matured very soon. We expect good things from him since he works with a coach that understands him," he concluded.

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