In the spirit of inclusion SAMA introduced Club Walking into its program, to encourage current walkers who struggle with bent knees, previous walkers who no longer compete for fear of disqualification, and others who might like to try walking without the pressure of full Race Walking rules.
SAMA will continue to have two types of walking in its competition – Race Walking and Club Walking.
Race Walking will be conducted under IAAF rules with the “No advantage” concept applied as is done at National and International competition (for further information see Race-walking with SAMA).
For Club Walking the only rule is that there would be no running – which for our purposes will be defined by the requirement to always have one foot on the ground (bent knees will not be an issue). Walkers in this category can still be disqualified if they break the contact rule!
During normal SAMA competition, the differentiation between the two groups of walkers will only apply for ‘scratch’ races. For ‘handicap’ races (which are not judged) all walkers will be competing in a single Club Walk group.
As both types of walking would be in the same race the type of walking must be nominated on entry into ‘scratch races’. We will have some distinguishing feature on Race Walkers. Both types will have their own Club Championship events but there will only be records for Race Walking (which must fulfill the criteria for setting SAG records) and only Race Walkers would be eligible for the SAMA Walks Award (for further details refer to the Records & Awards section).