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ASA set to tackle issues

Following the flak over team selection criteria and the like, Athletics South Africa seem set to address the problem after the weekend coaching workshop in Bloemfontein.

ASA have set up task teams to investigate the structuring  of better communication between the national federation and its coaches and officials in the interest of the preparation of athletes for national and international competition, plus on matters regarding the national team selection criteria.

At the weekend symposium, three-person task teams were put in place to investigate the above-mentioned aspects and to report back to ASA by the end of September.

Following discussion between the 320 coaches and technical officials who attended the coaches symposium, the need for better communication between ASA and the coaches and officials was required.

Regarding the national team selection criteria, vague terminology used in the ASA Selection Criteria over the past 10 years was identified as the reason for the confusion among coaches and the failure of athletes to perform. It was thus agreed that the ASA Selection Criteria should be more specific and should focus on identifying athletes that can win medals at the highest level of international competition such as the IAAF World Championships and the Olympic Games.

The 2011 national events calendar was also discussed at length and there was consensus that major track and field events take place at the wrong time of year on the calendar. There was concern for the lack of quality track and field opportunities at provincial level resulting in an unrealistic demand being placed on ASA to develop the standard of athletics at national and international level.

One of the most prominent recommendations was that the ASA provinces should host athletics events early in the year to ensure that athletes will deliver performances of international standard during the Yellow Pages Series.

Coaches have previously complained that nothing concrete has come out of similar symposiums. Now is the time for ASA to rectify this and be seen to be acting.


8 comments
Abel
Abel

Agree to most of the above. I am also a parent of two boys and a girl. The boy and the girl got SA Colours 2008 and 2009.The boy was SA Champ in his item from grade 2005 to 2010 The youngster is also a top field athlete but also a Cravenweek rugby player.We all know the chaos with the 2010 Southern Region Champs for youth(no clothes eg)Now...my young one approaching the boys 15 group now,experienced all this and watched athletes compete in non-SA Colours clothes. What was supposed to be a highlite for some was a nightmare and big disappointment!And then the yougster told me that athletics only do harm and that he thinks he must just concentrate on rugby!It makes one think. But to compare athletics with rugby. SARU manages the youth rugby very pro-active. At under 15 level every province choose a big group(after trials) that must be the heart of the under 16 trials that leads to the Grand Khomo National Champs(u16).After completing the u16 National champs,SARU choose a high performance squad.This squad comes together throughout the year to monitor training and development of players.This squad then forms the heart of the next years trials leading up to under 18 Academy/Cravenweek.By following this process parents and players can see where this is going.Top rugbyschools buy in and assist in the management of this program. What can parents and athletes say about athletics? My forecast is that if ASA do not make a plan drastic,boys are going to leave athletics for rugby.I also think that with next years competitions that will be scheduled later?(overlapping with the start of schoolboy rugby)- for boys to do athletics are going to be a huge problem - and choices must be made.Will it be rugby or athletics? I am sorry to say but for a schoolboy to make a choice is guite easy at this point of time. I must say i love athletics and are very positive for years but one gets to a point where you say.........no more!

Track Enthusiast
Track Enthusiast

I just read that SASCOC have snubbed the porfolio committee by not attending the meeting yesterday. They are now rushing into elections but Stander will still be there after that. He must go! I have never seen such ignorance as I have with SASCOC and Mali - how much more does the guy have to do before they get rid of him?

Track Enthusiast
Track Enthusiast

Those that love athletics should set up a petition to have the current administrator and interim board removed from office. Take Mali along with them. He doesn't know the sport and refuses to listen to the athletes. What kind of a father refuses to listen to his children. Advice to all South Africans - "Don't argue with an idiot. People might see you and make a mistake by thinking you're one too" - unknown author

Junior
Junior

Hi Athlete Please dont stop running, I'm sure that when the new board is elected new blood will be brought in. Look at the bright side: it cant get worse than this!!! I'm totally mad about athletics and it is athletes like you who make it worthwile to spendt a whole day in the sun watching athletics even if you dont have a friend, family member or athlete taking part in the competition. We need to build athletics and future stars yes, but also competitors, those who are there just for the love of it, those that work day in day out not to become professionals, but just to be an athlete!

athlete
athlete

i'am n athlete and i just stopped ruuning because of the selection to african champs.no developement,they dont care about developing athletes at international events,if they think you won't stand a chance to get a medal they just leave you, but lets see how many athletes they will have in 4 years time if the mulaudzies, Lj van zyl, khotso, sunette viljoen stop peaking.Athletics is really something i don't enjoy anymore and i think there's lot of other athletes who agrees with me.

athletics fan
athletics fan

I can`t agree with you more Junior ..... my daughter is currently a junior athlete and a very good one at that, but she is slowly becoming more and more disheartened with athletics in SA and wonders at times if it would be better to pursue her athletics career somewhere overseas !

Track Enthusiast
Track Enthusiast

Hi junior... Well done on your achievements but don't hold your breath. It is more than just going on the word of ASA as per this media release. I hear there's going to be a major meeting after the SA Seniors next year that will be at the same level as the diamond league - that will be good for SA if they can deliver but under the current leadership I seriously doubt it. Let's be optimistic and see how this pans out but I say they've had their chance and they have ruined the sport. They must leave and allow people with fresh ideas, those willing to consult with its memebers and not use protocol as a smoke screen to silencing thos that have a differing view. Fight for what's good for your athletes Junior as this will keep them in Athletics and allow you to draw more kids to athletics not only because of your coaching skills but also because athletics can be appealing to them as a future career. Good Luck Junior

Junior
Junior

This is indeed promising. As the coach of 3 2010 National Schools champions (1 went to Canada) it is important to have structure in your training program. My goal is to have 2 athletes in National teams next year and we are already working hard on a winter program. The Provinces have to react swiftly to changes in the calender to enable coaches to prepare athletes for 2011 national championships. Provinces also have to relook pre-season (Oct - Dec)competitions as this would result in a pretty long season for the athletes if Nationals will be later in the season.