Johannesburg - Athletics SA (ASA) has commended its provincial affiliate KwaZulu-Natal Athletics for conceptualising the Global Athletics Conference taking place in Durban in November.
"It's no secret that athletics in South Africa has had a chequered track record of late and we, as the new administration, are committed to developing a new era for the country's athletes," ASA president Alec Skhosana said.
"We know that we have a long and arduous road ahead of us as the new ASA board.
"Initiatives such as the Global Athletics Conference are therefore vital for the skills transfer and upskilling so that we can capacitate our stakeholder and ensure that we reach our goals."
The conference will allow some of the sport's most decorated athletes to share their expertise with the African athletics fraternity and will be addressed by the likes of Olympic heroes Ato Boldon and Kelly Holmes.
The pair will share the stage with experts in the sports sponsorship and performance industry.
It is part of what will be an annual journey of engagement, empowerment and dialogue in an effort to build and develop a highly efficient and effective athletics culture in South Africa and across the continent.
Skhosana said the sport needed fresh thinking to meet the demands of modern international athletics and Olympic success.
"We have an incredible talent pool from schools to professionals as well as some very notable events, and we owe it the athletics fraternity to assist in developing them to become world-class and to attract the best athletes and sponsors."
KwaZulu-Natal Athletics president Sello Mokoena said it would take a collaborative communal effort to get athletics up to the international standards in the fastest possible time.
"Our desire to transfer vital skills to our communities, including other African federations, comes out of our sincere love for the sport," Mokoena said.
"It is our part in supporting the national federation, Athletics South Africa, as well as the Olympic body, Sascoc, in reaching its targets for domestic and international success.
"The newly elected ASA board will need all the help it can get as it embarks on the long hard road to tackle the numerous challenges it has encountered over the last few years, notwithstanding those that will crop up in the future."
Conference delegates will discuss, analyse and focus on topics such as women in sport, sponsorship, the media, commercialisation and brand building.