Aleck Skhosana: One year later
Today marks exactly 12 months and 14 days since the new Athletics SA (ASA) board was elected into office.
Reflecting on his time at the helm, president Aleck Skhosana said the main thing his board had achieved so far was stability in the administration of athletics.
However, he admitted that challenges that remained included securing sponsorship and turning around the organisation’s financial situation – the ASA is still reeling from a battered reputation and a huge deficit.
“Athletics people have listened to us because there is no longer a challenge of disgruntled groups,” said Skhosana, whose election – thanks to the eventual intervention by the International Association of Athletics Federations – ended a long-running power struggle within the organisation.
According to Skhosana, athletes’ ever-improving performances local and international stages have gone a long way to restoring credibility to ASA. So far, Skhosana and his board have achieved the following: The return of the South African track and field event as the top ranked on the continent;
The return of track and field events to TV;
The high number of South African athletes competing in the current season of the Diamond League, and the high number of national recordbreakers;
Creating more opportunities for athletes to qualify for major international events at all levels. But what about the downside? Skhosana said his board had expected to be haunted by ghosts from the past, such as the R10 million lawsuit against ASA by injured pole vaulter Jan Blignaut, which put the federation’s assets at risk of being auctioned off in the past few weeks.
“We had to live up to expectations and make sure that we save athletics from being swallowed by the events of the past. We came in at an awkward period. But athletics is in a better state than when we found it. Corporate companies and even ordinary people didn’t believe in ASA because of all the negative stories from the past. There is good feedback for next year in terms of acquiring sponsorship,” he said.
ASA will hold its annual general meeting on August 1.
AGAINST ALL ODDS ASA president Aleck Skhosana has weathered the storm since being elected a year ago