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  • Mosibodi Whitehead

'The perception that only men can lead will now change' - Karabo Mabilo raises hand to lead CGA

"I'm actually quite excited and overwhelmed with gratitude to have been nominated as a presidential candidate to lead CGA in the future." These were the words of the latest candidate to enter the race to become the next president of Central Gauteng Athletics. Karabo Mabilo who currently serves as an Additional Board Member in charge of the Women's Committee is described as a 'an astute leader with a solid governance and administration background.' And this corporate knowledge is precisely what she believes sets her apart from her rivals.


"It is always a pleasure when your colleagues in the sporting fraternity recognize the potential impact that you can bring to the sport," she told #TheTopRunner after formally announcing her intention to run for the top job. "I'm very confident that with my leadership and my corporate know-how I will be able to make a significant change and contribution to the success of CGA," said the woman who has run in the colours of Diepkloof Athletic Club, Bidvest Athletics Club and Phuthuma Athletic Club.


Mabilo describes herself as a passionate runner. Photo Credit: Karabo Mabilo.

But how exactly how does the woman who is also a Trustee Board Member of the Soweto Marathon Trust define success in a seat that has been occupied by James Moloi for the last decade? Mabilo's vision for the regional federation centres on increasing the development and participation of female athletes, giving more support to clubs and paying more attention to governance and compliance. But her first and most important agenda point should she emerge victorious in the election, is wooing and retaining sponsors.


"The new board would need to create an enabling environment to attract corporate sponsorship. It will be a duty of the new board to help identify companies that would have keen interest in promoting the development of athletics through their brand. The board, must interest corporates in the brand CGA and ensure that the relationships with sponsors is maintained and nurtured," is the LLB graduate's plan to fill the organisation's coffers.


Mabilo (centre) alongside members of The Soweto Marathon Trust at the 2019 race. Photo Credit: Thulani Sibisi.

Mabilo believes that she is the woman to do it, saying she is ready to prove her detractors wrong. "For the longest of time this particular position has always been dominated by males. And the perception in society has always been that only men can become great leaders. I truly believe that this nomination will rattle patriarchal standards because the perception that only men can lead will now change," was her confident refrain.


Alongside Queen Mofokeng, Mabilo is one of two women contesting the provincial sports body's highest position against four men. Should either of them win it ,then it will be only the second time in an almost 25-year history that CGA is led by a woman. The elections takes place on the 5th of March at the Germiston Stadium.

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