I have of late been following, with disgust, the very distasteful episode surrounding the reported lying response emanating from Mr Leonard Chuene and the subsequent support of his lying actions by the board of Athletics South Africa. I believe this latest outcome had its roots in the early 1990s with the transformation of the athletics administration from the old SARRA (South African Road Running Association) to what is now known as Athletics South Africa. Whilst it was certainly necessary at the
time that transformation took place, the manner it was done resulted, in my view, in a negative outcome in that many knowledgeable, longserving, selfl ess sports administrators/officials were replaced by persons who were more interested in serving themselves than the sport that they are supposed to represent. The latest ASA saga, I believe, is the outcome of years of sycophancy, self-serving offi cials, incompetence, etc.
And this scenario, I believe, is not only confi ned to the national body but to some provincial affi liates as well. I was recently in conversation with a local top runner who was dissatisfi ed with certain issues of the local provincial administration and I asked why he and other top athletes did not get together and make strong representation as a group to challenge the status quo. The response I got was rather disturbing – they said they were afraid to do such things as people in power are likely to cause them harm.
I believe that it is very long overdue for serious action to be taken to stop this farce. The only way that we as athletes in this country are going to change the situation, is that we ALL need to take ownership of the issues that are facing our sport and vote to empower the correct people to administer our sport. It is no use having the attitude that I heard recently from a local road runner, who said, “I am not interested in politics, I only want to run.”
We have so much potential in this beautiful country to take the high road for our great sport of athletics. Do we really want to take the low road?
– JOHN WARD, DURBAN
Ed’s Reply: At the time of going to press, ASA and its leaders had just been suspended by SASCOC, pending investigation, and we are waiting to see what will happen next, hoping that the sport will soon bounce back from this debacle.
Just a short message to say “Well done” with your magazine. It’s great! This is a genuine runners’ magazine with real runners’ issues everywhere, from the front page (i.e. Timeless Warriors – great pic and story) all the way to the back with the colleagues of everyday plebs doing their thing overseas. It’s a very enjoyable magazine to read and I know that this is the general feeling amongst our plebs. Keep up the good work.
– CO VAN DEN RAAD, IRENE ROAD RUNNERS
Ed’s Reply: Thank you very much, from one pleb to another!
Please can we have an article about poor watering points. We pay our entry fee and we support the local races… we demand that the runners/walkers who are in the middle to back of the fi elds
receive the same water and Coke as the runners in the front! Tuks 21km in Pretoria – no water or Coke at the last watering point… Sportmans Warehouse 15km Boksburg, no water the entire race.
– PETER BADENHORST
Boksburg Athletic Club responds: We accept that our statistical organisation of the amount of water at our race left a lot to be desired and as such, this letter serves to place on record our most heartfelt and sincere apologies to each and every one of you who obviously found this gave you discomfort. On the other hand, we also take the opportunity to express a huge vote of gratitude to all of you for your support, especially those of you who ran PBs on what did in fact, prove to be a stunning route, with the winning time of 45:59 being a true refl ection of how fast it is. Thank you to so many of you who took the trouble to come and thank us.
– NEIL COCHRAN, CHAIRMAN, BOKSBURG ATHLETIC CLUB
Ed’s Reply: The Modern Athlete team is indeed planning an article on do’s and don’ts of race organisation.
A brief note to thank you most sincerely for the publicity received from you for our fun walk. It was the most successful ever and attracted close on a thousand more walkers than in previous years. The publicity that we received from you contributed to this signifi cantly. As a charity, we have no marketing budget; your contribution to us is valued and very much appreciated.
– DESR? MURRAY, FUNDRAISING MANAGER, HOSPICE ASSOCIATION OF THE WITWATERSRAND
Ed’s Reply: That’s awesome news, Desr?. Glad we could help!
Thanks for a great publication, really nice to see someone doing local content and not overseas content only. Keep up the good work. I see you do Club Reviews. I am the Chairman of Savages Athletics Club in Durban. Our 50th Golden Jubilee year is 2010, so I would like to know if you could do a review on our club.
– PAUL STEWART, CHAIRMAN, SAVAGES ATHLETICS CLUB
Ed’s Reply: We’ll defi nitely keep your club in mind, Paul, and all clubs are welcome to send us their info and pics for the Club Focus, Time Trial Review, Club News, Race Calendar and Race Report sections. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to congratulate you and the team at Modern Athlete for launching such a wonderful and useful magazine for athletes. I think it will receive a big thumbs up from the athletes because of quality articles and useful hints which runners will use. I will defi nitely subscribe to this magazine. Keep up the good work.
– JOHN NKOSI, WITBANK
Ed’s Reply: Glad you like the mag, John, and hope you like the ongoing improvements and new
sections we’re introducing.