Media release from Athletics South Africa
ASA extends postponement of athletics events in South Africa due to pandemic
Following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 9 April to extend the lockdown of the country by 14 days in order to slow down and manage the extent of the Corona Virus (COVID-19), ASA has taken heed of the latest pronouncement and has aligned accordingly.
“In compliance, the suspension of all athletics activities is therefore also extended,” announced Aleck Skhosana, President of ASA. “This will remain in place until is it deemed safe for us to resume by the national government. This affects all fixtures and programmes from 26 March until 30 April. We will review our position when the Government issues new measures to be followed.
“As a responsible national federation, ASA accepts that the protection of all lives outweighs everything else. We also note that everyone is affected the same way by this law and this include athletes, coaches, event organisers, athletes’ representatives, administrators and communities.
“As it stands, however, let us prioritise the safety and health of every person, so that we can all return to our athletics programmes once it is considered safe to do so. We urge everyone to join hands with the Government to fight this pandemic by obeying regulations of the lockdown.
“The Comrades Marathon is therefore postponed from 14 June to a suitable date that will be determined between ASA, KZN Athletics and the Comrades Marathon Association as soon as conditions around the management of the virus allow us to under the guidance of the Government.”
The decision to extend the postponement includes the following:
- All schools athletics activities including the ASA National Primary Schools T&F Championships scheduled for Pietermaritzburg. The event will remain at the same venue on a new date.
- All clubs and provincial activities, including, Fun Runs, Park Runs, Road-Running, Cross Country, Trail Running and Track & Field events.
- All ASA championships including the ASA Twizza National U16 – U20 Track and Field Championships, the 2020 ASA Athletics Grand Prix Series and the 3Sixty Life & Sizwe Medical ASA Senior T&F + Combined Events.
The Chairperson of the Comrades Marathon Association, Cheryl Winn, said: “We welcome the announcement by ASA, which includes the postponement of the 2020 Comrades which had been scheduled for 14 June.
“CMA’s position is that there is no priority greater than the health, safety and welfare of our runners, volunteers, supporters, stakeholders and the lives of our fellow South Africans. Therefore, any decision on the eventual fate of the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be taken in conjunction with ASA and KZN Athletics.
“CMA also reiterated its advocacy for complete compliance with all regulations, guidelines and directives pertaining to the National State of Disaster, as well as pledging its total cooperation and support for ASA towards restoring some sort of equilibrium to the sport of athletics in South Africa in the coming weeks and months.”