Ruswahl Samaai wins the men's long jump event at the Grand Prix Athletics event in Paarl. Photo: EPA/Nick Botma

JOHANNESBURG – The sponsorship deal for the Grand Prix Track and Field series died a premature death, but Athletics SA (ASA) is confident of finding a replacement.

ASA president Aleck Skhosana yesterday announced the three-year sponsorship deal with Liquid Telecom had run aground a year after the series was launched.

“We also take the opportunity to announce that the three-year sponsorship agreement (ending in 2020) that we had with Liquid Telecom, was terminated after the first series,” Skhosana said in a press release.

“But in respect of the confidentially clauses binding the three parties, we will not go into the matter any further, except to note that this development is now subject to a dispute.

A total of R1365000 in prize incentives were offered over the three legs of the inaugural series.

The series breathed new life into the South African track and field scene with the organisers attracting some of the country’s best athletes.

Aleck Skhosana, head of Athletics SA. Photo: Zanele Zulu/ African News Agency (ANA)
Aleck Skhosana, head of Athletics SA. Photo: Zanele Zulu/ African News Agency (ANA)

Organisers also managed to lure defending world 100m champion Justin Gatlin of the US at the Pretoria leg of the series. The Pretoria meeting took place at a packed Tuks Stadium.

Skhosana said the Grand Prix series would continue as planned this year and he was confident ASA and its commercial agents, Stillwater Sports, would sign a new title sponsor.

“We are steadfast, highly enthusiastic and working diligently to ensure the 2019 series will take place with a replacement sponsor, and we are excited about the opportunity that exists for our future partners through the platforms offered by athletics,” Skhosana said.

“We are encouraged by potential new sponsors who have jumped up to indicate their interest.

@Ockertde


The Star

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