Johannesburg - The SA Sports Confederation and
Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has confirmed that South Africa's elite
swimmers will participate in the World Aquatics Championships in
Barcelona in July.
However, Swimming SA (SSA) says lesser known athletes might need to contribute some of the costs if they hope to take part.
chief executive Tubby Reddy said on Tuesday the governing body would
cover the costs of all athletes on their operation excellence (Opex)
programme for the global championships.
"When we got back from
the London Olympic Games last year, SSA indicated that their main
sponsor, Telkom, had pulled out, and that they would have functional
issues financially," Reddy said.
"We have retained all Olympic
medalists and finalists on the Opex programme from the London Games to
this point, and we will now reassess the athletes on the list.
in the next phase of Opex will have their expenses covered by Sascoc,
but SSA will need to focus on finding funds to cover the other members
of the team."
SSA chief executive Shaun Adriaanse said the
federation hoped to find a commercial sponsor to send the athletes who
were not included in the revamped Opex programme.
"It's always a
struggle finding major sponsors and we haven't been able to find a
replacement since Telkom decided not to renew its contract," Adriaanse
"Barring those on Opex, the athletes might need to make a contribution to ensure their participation."
the federation's main focus was on swimming, which produced three
medals from the London Games, Adriaanse said SSA also planned to send
men's and women's water polo squads, a synchronised swimming team, and a
group of divers to compete in the world championships.
confirmed that SSA would be able to cover around 85 percent of the
team's costs, aside from those on the Opex list, and that athletes would
contribute no more than R3000 each.
"We have got some funding
from (global governing body) Fina, which will help with the costs, and
if we can find a corporate sponsor before the championships the athletes
won't need to contribute," he said.
"Most of the funding we have
will go to the swimmers, and the athletes in other disciplines, like
the divers who are going to the world championships for the first time,
will probably need to contribute more, but it depends on how many
"We need to manage the risk and make provisions to cover the costs."
South Africa finished 25th in the medals table at the previous biennial World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai in 2011.
van der Burgh, who is on the Opex programme, secured two bronze medals
in Shanghai, and Gerhardus Zandberg bagged the country's only other
medal, another bronze.
It was South Africa's worst performance at
the global showpiece since the 2003 championships, also held in
Barcelona, where they finished 23rd on the table with only one bronze