Skhosana - My work speaks for itself vs Moloi - We need live TV coverage of athletics
Athletics South Africa (ASA) President Aleck Skhosana is confident that the work he has done since taking office 6 years ago has left him as the clear favourite to retain the position at tomorrow's eagerly anticipated elections. Skhosana is going toe to toe with experienced administrator James Moloi and South African Marathon record holder Gert Thys. Many believe that Central Gauteng Athletics President Moloi is the frontrunner having reportedly received seven endorsements from the total 17 provincial federations compared to the three regional bodies which are backing Skhosana. But in the last election, Moloi withdrew at the eleventh hour leaving Skhosana to cruise to victory.
Skhosana, who is the former teacher by profession says the stability he has enforced inside the federation during his tenure is what will win him the required votes. "I'm promising people to continue to do the wonderful work that I have done before," said Skhosana.
"If you look during my tenure, we have produced world champion athletes from Caster Semenya to Wayde Van Nierkek. Look at our 4×100m relay team recently won gold at the World relay Championships in Poland which shows how we have grown in the past 10 years. That alone shows the wonderful work I have done. I'm hoping to see the country producing more champions. Our country has got talent which only has to be nurtured in a good way with proper coaches in the development structures for us to succeed. That's why it is so important for the federations to invest more in the development structures because those kids down there hold our future," he said.
What of the issue of sponsors as athletics competes against more commercially established sporting codes such as football, rugby and cricket for a slice of the sponsorship pie? The man from Ezingolweni, a rural area near Port Shepstone, South of KwaZulu-Natal is confident that sponsors will inject money because the federation's success is eye catching.
"Look, sponsors are there if you want them," explained the man who has been criticised for his approach to the return of competitions after the onset of the Covid-19 which came at a huge financial cost to the sport. "We have managed to get sponsors like Sizwe Medical Fund and Twizza in the past so why would it be difficult for us to secure another one? Cooperate companies might be affected by Covid19 but that doesn't mean they don't have money to support a good cause. Remember sport is about changing people's lives," he added.
But Moloi disagrees saying the poor coverage of South African athletics on television is scaring sponsors away. Speaking to the #TopRunner, Moloi questioned why sponsors would want to invest when athletics isn't being broadcast much, adding that getting live coverage remains his top priority before tackling other issues. He also promised to keep legends in the sport to motivate upcoming athletes.
"The truth must be told. Without live coverage of the events, sponsors won't come in numbers," explains Moloi. "Look, last week we had SA Half Marathon Championships which came as a delayed broadcast, do you think that is fair? Sponsors need live coverage to be guaranteed their returns. We can have good athletes but without proper coverage then our work will seems invalid. Let's sort this issue first then we move forward with others. And we must not forget about legends like Shadrack Hoff, Hendrick Ramaala to always hold talks with upcoming athletes in order to stay motivated and that would make them believe in sport," said the former Top Runner.
This is how the voting will work. 68 votes will be cast on the big day and the official with the highest votes will win. ASA board members present will each have the opportunity to cast one vote per member which will bring the total to 12 votes. Each of the 17 provincial federations can then cast two votes, which are equal to 34 votes. Six associates members present will cast one vote per person. Members of the commission one vote per member excluding the chairpersons, which brings the number to 16 votes. Honorary members are not allowed to vote and that leaves the total number of votes that will be cast on the day at 68.
ASA Elections Nomination List
Athletes' Commission chairperson
Morna van der Merwe
Track and Field