KZN nominates 19 for national athletics board

2010-09-17 00:00

BY far the most important athletics event this weekend is the election of a new Athletics South Africa board on Saturday morning in Johannesburg.

Seven new board members will be elected from a massive 61 nominations put forward from the 17 provinces, with 19 of the nominations coming from KwaZulu-Natal.

There are many passionate and dedicated athletes, officials, coaches and administrators amongst the list, which also features a number of candidates who have been around in national structures for years.

Incredibly, the four voting delegates from KZN Athletics are at the time of writing being sent without a mandate as to who to vote for, meaning they are left free to vote for whoever they personally feel the province may want. Some clubs are known to have complained about this lack of direction, but to date no response has been provided.

With all four delegates, executive members Aleck Skhosana, Patrick Hlongwane and Blanche Moila, with Norrie Williamson, who was appointed as a delegate by the clubs at last Thursday’s open meeting, all also nominated for the board, the decision not to have a unified voting strategy is highly questionable.

Judging by the source of nominations at national level there has been significant politicking amongst the provinces and one can only hope that the outcome will serve the betterment of the sport rather than the manipulation of votes.

When elected the board will hold office until the next elections in 2012.

Late reports from last weekend included confirmation that Kerry Koen set a new course record for the Mont Aux Sources 50 km Challenge, finishing seventh overall in five hours 27 minutes, a 13 minute improvement on her previous record.

Sibusiso Nzima and Irvette Van Blerk won the Southern Region Half marathon championships in Malawi.

Nzima won the men’s 21,1 km race in 65 minutes 42 seconds, a clear indication that it was not an easy route, while van Blerk beat her nearest rival by more than three minutes when she took gold in 1:16:54.

Sunday’s SAPS Heritage 15 km is sure to prove a popular race given that it is now one of the very few events to be run on the flat, fast beachfront course from King’s Park.

With most events required to be held from the club’s base or local suburb, the SAPS 15 km offers runners the opportunity of recording fast times prior to beginning their build-up to an end-of-year qualifier. The timing of the race is also ideal for those preparing for the SA Marathon Championships and Comrades / Two Oceans qualifier in Durban on October 2.

Sunday’s race commences at 7 am from the King’s Park track and V. G Naidoo has more details 082 418 0743.

The Lotto SA Marathon Championships on Saturday, October 2 are open to all licensed athletes. The event also offers a 10 km run or walk, a wheelchair division and a five kilometre fun run.

This is a pre-entry event with online entries on www.topevents.co.za closing on September 26. Entry forms are also available at the KZN Athletics offices and Sportsman’s Warehouse at Springfield, Gateway and Pavilion shopping centres.

The weekend’s track and field will commence with the second of the Schools Relay League at King’s Park this afternoon at 3pm. This event was postponed two weeks ago due to the teachers strike.

More details are available from the KZN office on 031 312 9374.

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