Athletics

Former Athletics SA head dies

Frik Vermaak (Gallo Images)
Frik Vermaak (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Erstwhile Athletics South Africa (ASA) chief executive Frederick 'Frik' Vermaak has died, the athletics governing body has confirmed.

Vermaak, 56, died on Monday after spending some time in the intensive care unit at a Bloemfontein hospital. He suffered organ failure.

Vermaak - who served as ASA chief executive between December 2011 and October 2012 - was at the South African Junior Championships held at the Free State capital last week to cheer on his son Pierre, 17, who is the South African junior 10km race walk champion.

Vermaak junior is in the team that will represent the country at the African Youth Championships in Mauritius this weekend.

"On behalf of ASA, we would like to convey our condolences to Frik’s family, friends, coaches and the administrators," ASA president Aleck Skhosana told City Press.

'Frik', as he is known in athletics circles, was a larger-than-life character both literally and figuratively.

A chartered marketer by profession, Vermaak was involved in the sport in various capacities - including as an athletics radio and TV commentator.

His involvement in the sport goes back to the first Soweto Marathon in 1993, when he served on the organising committee.

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