• Thathe Msimango

Mkasi to run for KZNA President

Steve Mkasi believes his wealth of experience in administration and good leadership skills makes him the perfect candidate to be next president of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics( KZNA). The coastal federation is set to hold its much anticipated elections on the 3rd of April in an undisclosed location. KZNA has been without the President since Sello Mokoena vacated the hot seat in 2019.

This comes after Athletics South Africa (ASA) suspended the federation and placed it under administration, appointing Jay Reddy to run the office in Durban. Mkasi is set to go head to head with experienced administrator Pat Hlongwane and Khura Buthelezi for the high profile post. Mkasi believes the embattled federation will benefit from his administrative experience if it wants to restore its tarnished image. He says the networks he has built up while serving the sport will come in handy.

Mkasi speaking at the launch of the KZN Capital City Marathon in September 2019. He says they are ready for the 2021 track and field season. Photo Credit: KZN Capital City Marathon.

"I have a lot of administrative experience and I think that sport of athletics can benefit from that experience as well as my networks," explains the outspoken Mkasi. "I believe KZNA can reap the rewards of the contacts I have made over the years from both inside and outside athletics. For example, we have engaged one of the sponsors of the Capital City Marathon I worked with, to sponsor all the events happening in KZN in a standard manner like Coca-Cola does. Early indications, I received from them suggest that they would consider it and that it is possible." Mkasi, who is also a Comrades Marathon board member says that it's time for KZNA to allow new fresh minds to lead. "I can't speak for other provinces, but I think KZNA requires a new thinking and new set of heads to take the sport forward. For instance if you look at the previous board, if someone failed to bring change then it boggles the mind if that someone wants to make a return despite failing to bring change into sports," said Mkasi.

Mkasi pictured with athlete representative Craig Fry at Comrades Marathon House in Pietermaritzburg in 2013. Photo Credit: Donnette Fry Né Davis.

Mkasi, who founded Phuma KZN Athletics Club alongside former KwaZulu-Natal Health Minister Dr. Sibongiseni Dlomo in 2010 has prepared an 18 month turnaround strategy to transform the fortunes of the provincial federation. Chief amongst his most important tasks is to repair KZNA's relationships with ASA and the KwaZulu-Natal Sports Confederation. He will also work towards stabilizing the federation, and establish bi-monthly training camps and semi-academies especially for athletes in rural districts. "I have prepared a 10 point short term strategy which I will release closer to the elections," explain Mkasi, who is a lawyer by profession. "But I think what its important for now is to stabilize the province, harmonize with ASA and Sports confederation which I believe it would be good for the sport. Mind you, we are here in the sport for one common goal and to achieve it we must work together in order to make South Africa a better sporting country. We have coaches that are doing a magnificent job on the ground like Chris White, Sibonelo Khulu and Xolani Mabhida and we must assist them so that they can produce future champions. We need to empower coaches and give them resources to find the kids and work with them," he said.

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