Hendrick Ramaala will run for the Athletics South Africa (ASA) presidency next month, the veteran marathon runner confirmed after finishing in second place at the Two Oceans Marathon on Saturday.
Ramaala, who completed the race in a time of 3hr 11min 33sec behind the winner from Lesotho, Lebenya Nkoka, believes he can steer the ship of the embattled ASA in the right direction despite previously contributing to the mess the cash- strapped association is in at the moment.
The period to submit entries lapses tomorrow, and 42-year-old Ramaala, who claims to have the backing of the ASA members, has thrown his name into the hat for the elections set for May 24.
“I am going back to run for office again and I am going to win,” Ramaala said.
“Nothing will stand in my way and I believe I am the right person to save the ASA. The members like me. I can call and talk to them all the time. The members will vote for me because they believe in me. Our campaign is strong. We will officially start with our campaign this week.”
The over-confident Ramaala was vice-president to James Evans before the entire ASA board was disbanded by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) due to infighting and maladministration late last year.
Ramaala and Evans, who were at loggerheads in the past, shook hands and had a brief chat after a Two Oceans Marathon press conference.
He said there is no bad blood between him and the former president and that they could even work together.
“We are men. We are doing sports. We agree to disagree. There was a time when it was too heated, but we are grown up now. We are all trying to do best for sports. We will get it back together again for the sport. We are going to fix it. We have to take this sport to the next level. We will work together. I trust people.”
Ramaala, not surprisingly, is anxious to secure sponsors to aid the financial crisis ASA is in.
Sello Mokoena is another who is likely to put his name in the hat for the presidency. Mokoena was part of the interim board that was appointed after Evans’s board was disbanded.
The names of the candidates will be released this week.
Ramaala, meanwhile, walked away with R200 000 for finishing second in the Two Oceans Marathon.
“I did pretty well. Our board was disbanded and I had nothing going on, so I went back to my old job which is running. Running is my life,” he said. - The Star