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Sport
Virtual running is ‘insecure and unprotected’ – ASA

The Athletics South Africa (ASA) Board has a particular concern about the virtual runs conducted by individual organisers, who may not understand the risks they impose on athletes who may be running in an insecure, unprotected environment.

ASA president Aleck Skhosana says virtual running, no doubt, has many advantages, such as flexibility to run the race at a time and place that suit people best, with more possible variations of participation, competing against anyone in any province or country, and treasured medals or prize money on offer, among other incentives.

But, he says, virtual running also has its disadvantages – the race may not be entirely virtual, as running still needs to take place, and performances are not comparable, as they do not take place at the same time or place, and athletes don’t actually go anywhere. So it is not the real thing, and there is no sense of community.

The biggest disadvantage of the current trend of virtual running, Skhosana says, is poor information flow between race organisers and athletes who enter and participate in these races.

Moreover, the organisers cannot provide medical support should the athlete take ill or become injured while participating.

Nor can the organiser secure the competition environment, to prevent cheating and accidents that can lead to the death of the athlete running.

Skhosana kindly requests that ASA members advise their participants about the risks associated with unregistered virtual runs.

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