This past weekend we saw Federations that was prepared to do the work, and tried to be innovative reaped the rewards with the hosting of the Mandela Challenge by Cricket South Africa.
With the migration to of Alert Level 3 and the subsequent publishing of regulations, Government authorised the commencement of non-contact sport training and competitions under strict control measures. Federations were given 14 days to submit mitigation plans on how to commence with training and competitions Guess what our Federation ASA did? Nothing except from saying No again.
For many years ASA has forged a love relationship with saying NO, and to be as restrictive and non-inclusive as possible. IT is become absolutely normal to hear from ASA that we have NO money, or No team will be sent to regional of National competitions or No athletes will be selected for a specific team. ASA have even said NO to World Athletics entry standards, and came up with standards that far exceed the rest of the World.
Do not even bother to submit an appeal to ASA, yes you guessed it the response will be NO.
On 19 June 2020 ASA issued a circular authorising a select few athletes in the olympic preliminary squad to commence training in preparation for the Olympic Games. The squad consists of 44 athletes for the athletes trying to get onto the list and the thousands of other athletes ASA says NO. It is clear that the management of ASA does not fully comprehend how the competitive sport of athletics works. How can you authorise a small group of athletes to train and exclude thousands of athletes that are trying to work onto this exclusive list. The saying goes level the playing field, in this case ASA is throwing in Poly Shorts to the 1000's of athletes that are not on the list. Its should also be considered that all sport was suspended before the senior season started, so don't look for too many long distance athletes on the list. It is simply not possible for some codes such as middle distance runners to record a qualifying time at the onset of the season and hold it to the end. In short the list is lawed and the authorisation for a select few to train is flawed.
On 27 June ASA in a press release indicated that only athletes on the Olympic squad are authorised to train and No to all-other athletes including those trying to get on the Olympic squad are not allowed to train. Since the implementation of the hugely unfair exclusive policy by ASA on 27 June 2020 one month has passed, with a small elite group being allowed to train while other athletes hoping to challenge for a spot on the Olympic bus having to sit at home watching the gap between them and the authorised elite getting bigger and bigger. Daily these athletes must painfully look at social media posts on how their competitors train on the tracks around the country while ASA says NO you stay at home, because you did not get yourself on the list in a season that dd not take place.
To top it all ASA is now even going as far as to say No for the hosting of Virtual events. There is truly no limit as to how far ASA would go in saying No, and to restrict athletes trying to advance in the sport.
Like most things in life and business a restrictive negative policy will over time, claim its toll. ASA was very fast out the blocks in claiming number 3 ranking in the World after, the World Champs in London 2017. As a result of ASA continued negative saying No policy the wheels started coming off at the World Championships in DOHA 2019 and will no doubt continue to decline.
IT IS TIME FOR ATHLES TO SAY NO