Zamuxolo “Yster” Xatasi, the newly appointed acting president of Cycling South Africa, says he wants to focus on transformation in the sport.
Xatasi, who had served as vice-president for two years, was appointed acting president a month ago after William Newman resigned in February.
He will fill the president’s position until 2020, when the next elective congress will be held.
Xatasi feels transformation in SA cycling remains a key issue.
“I will be concentrating on transformation and development,” he told In the Bunch today. “By that I mean taking big races to the townships.
“I don’t think it is good for the sport to have races only in the remote, mainly white areas.
“That way, black people in the townships and rural areas are deprived of the opportunity to watch these races.”
The youth, he said, would be valued in his quest to implement transformation.
“Children in the townships will add much value if they enter many of these races. It will be important to instil the love of the sport at a young age.
“We need to get more people into cycling in South Africa. We still have limited numbers of entrants and pro athletes.”
Cycling was not in the top 16 sports codes recognised by Sascoc, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Xatasi said.
“We have not reached the EPG (Eminent Persons Group) goals in terms of transformation. Those are the factors that will help us reach our goals.”
He wants cycling to enjoy a wider reach. “I want us to have our own newspaper, which everyone, including the small communities, can have access to.
“I want people to be better informed on what we are doing as Cycling SA.
“Our sport needs slots on the public broadcaster and on the pay channels. We need to sell our brand. We want to draft and implement plans to do so,” he added.
Xatasi wants Cycling SA to be “visible enough” so that prominent companies will start investing in the sport.
“We want to try to entice big industries and corporate entities, so that we can get enough funding for riders to race abroad.
“Sascoc don’t have enough financial backing to do that. We need vast funding. Riders should not pay for themselves when they are representing the country.”
He is confident that he can turn Cycling SA into a profitable organisation. “From now until 2020 I will be acting president and from 2020 till 2024 I will be president.
“In that period, Cycling SA will change a lot; for the better. I’m confident we get enough sponsorship for funding and generating profit,” he said.