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Gideon Sam: SA sports under-resourced

Sam says the sports fraternity lacks platforms where athletes can be given opportunities.

Gideon Sam. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Student team in Kazan, Russia, has impressed with its performance after collecting 13 medals. That's despite the athletics team running into problems because of the on-going spat between Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Olympic body SASCOC.

The fight over athletics has been dragging on since April, when Sascoc suspended the ASA board and put it into administration.

SASCOC President Gideon Sam spoke to Talk Radio 702's Cynthia Chaka about some of the challenges the Olympic body faces and the state of South African sports.

"The university system, where the Varsity Cup is run by former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, is a correct platform we should have. Strong interprovincial competitions will allow athletes to be exposed to competing more."

Sam added a challenge faced by the federation is the distance of some of the bigger competitions, which makes it unaffordable to send all athletes.

"Sport is not well resourced. Most federations are run by volunteers and federations like ASA don't even have a head coach because SASCOC doesn't have the budget to pay the salary of a head coach. Only rugby, soccer and cricket have proper coaches."

The federation's president said the financial problems will be raised with the minister of finance.