A handful of South African universities featured in the inaugural Athletics South Africa Night Series with the exception of Wits University. 

The Wits Athletics Club was a no-show at the inaugural Athletics South Africa (ASA) Night Series, held in Pretoria on Tuesday.

While Wits Athletics had a member who could have competed in the ASA Night Series 400m hurdle event, there was no direct invitation from ASA, said the club’s sports officer, Ntshembe Vukeya.

However, ASA said the event was open to all athletes. The night series is part of ASA’s plan to expose local athletes to international competitions and to showcase the country’s talent.

Wits Athletics’ no-show at the night series comes as the club is grappling with organisational issues.

The club does not have a permanent coach. It has a mentor but this person does not attend training and only communicates to them via e-mail, said Hope Ngwenya, Wits Athletics committee member.

More than half of the club’s members have not attended training sessions and are described as “inactive”.

According to Vukeya, only 12 out of 28 registered members are actively participating in the Wits Athletics’ events.

Reasons for lack of commitment have not yet been established by the committee that is overseeing the club.

“We only hear from few people … We are not sure why they don’t come for training,” said Ngwenya.

The club is also in financial constrains, which is the reason why they currently do not have a coach. The club depends on sign-up fees from members and does not receive financial support from donors.

The club is informed of upcoming events by Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) and is expected to find other events for its members.

CGA will be hosting its provincial championships on March 12. The Wits Athletics Club will be attending that event.