Athletes run into hurdles

A MEMBER of the Wits athletics club has complained about politics at the sports administration department and possible marginalisation of some sports.

Sprinter Axel Kayoka, 3rd year engineering, student complained that the athletics team was attending the University Sports SA National Track & Field Championship in Durban but support and communication from the Wits sports administration department had been poor.

The competition runs today and tomorrow.

Kayoka said the club committee had failed to organise something as “basic” as kits for the team to wear at the championship.

“Wits is not very good at sports but the least they could do is ensure that we look professional when we get to championships at a professional and national level. It’s about people [other teams] having respect for us when we are there,” Kayoka said.

Vice chair of the athletics committee, Charmy Twala, said the issue of sport kits had been communicated to athletes and Kayoka may have missed that communication.

“It was difficult. We had to communicate with sponsors about the kits and they said we would have to get them delivered from Durban. We decided it would make better sense to get the kits when we arrive in Durban seeing as they are already there,” Twala said.

Koyaka said that if a sport kit was difficult to organise, then the committee should still communicate better with athletes.

“If the structural things are sorted out I am sure that then we would be able to attract other students who were brilliant at sports at their high schools and are now here at Wits,” he said.

Kayoka said he felt the coaches selected by Wits were also not up to par. He said the coach his team had was “not serious” and the techniques he used were not of a standard that would make them competitive against universities such as the University of Johannesburg and Stellenbosch University.

“The coach has other athletes [who are not Wits students] at practice and focuses most of his energy on them. As a result I have opted to get training elsewhere in order to improve my performance,” Kayoka said.

Twala defended the athletics coach: “In my opinion the coach we have is good. He coaches athletes who are even part of the Olympics and he has good experience.”

Kayoka said amidst all these issues he was excited to compete at a national level as it means meeting people who are very well recognised in the athletics world.

“Seeing some of the names of the people who will be competing at the champs is really motivating and I will be very proud to be on the same field as them,” Kayoka said.

shandu@witsvuvuzela.com

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