SA swimmers pay to compete

2012-10-11 11:38

Johannesburg - Despite winning the most medals in South Africa's 2012 Olympic campaign, the swimming team will have to contribute towards the costs of attending the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, in December.

Swimming SA (SSA) president Jace Naidoo on Thursday confirmed the 25 member team selected for the championships would have to fork out between R7 000 and R8 000 each to be able to participate.

"It is not an ideal situation but the reality is that it costs R25 000 per athlete for flights and accommodation," Naidoo said.

"The team was also much bigger than previous teams as we have chosen to blood some youngsters."

The swimming federation is in dire straits since Telkom pulled its sponsorship at the end of 2011.

Despite the overwhelming success of Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh at the London Olympics, SSA was still struggling to find a corporate sponsor.

Le Clos surprised everyone when he beat world record Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly and followed up with a silver medal in the 100m butterfly.

Van der Burgh won South Africa's first medal of the Games in the 100m breaststroke final in a world-record time.

The duo's performances signalled South Africa's most successful Games in the pool since the country's readmission to the Olympics in 1992.

Naidoo said SSA were in talks with possible partners and he was hopeful they would soon secure a sponsor.

"We've approached a few corporates after Telkom and we are currently in discussions with one or two of them," he said.

"It might come through but, as it stands, the funds come largely from National Lottery and the Department of Sport to cover the costs of these competitions."

The amount of money from the Lottery had also been significantly reduced.

Where they relied on an R8m injection in the past, they now only received R1.5m.

Meanwhile, Naidoo said SSA would send a small team to Australia in January where they would come up against international competition.

All costs, however, would be covered by Australia who had secured a sponsorship for the event.


  • NguVala - 2012-10-11 12:02

    THAT IS REDICULOUS!!! Mbalula must stop using money for unnecessary things like millions to launch nominees. He must make those funds available to our athletes. \r\nSouth Africa deserves much more professionalism from our elected and selected public servants

      lerato.mnizi - 2012-10-11 12:05

      Agree. It's a joke. If I was one those swimmers I'd refuse to go OR go as an independent participant.

      NguVala - 2012-10-11 13:35

      I wouldn't blame any young swimmer who decides to go and swim for another country... I used to question people's patriotism but now I understand

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-11 13:53

      No, it's fair. Swimming is a professional sport (at that level, anyway). If these guys expect to make money in the tournament, they should actually pay 100% of their own costs.

      michael.taylorw - 2012-10-12 03:53

      @stirrer.stirrer Sir, with the utmost respect, that must be dumbest thing I have ever read. You sir, are a few fruit short of a fruit basket. Add all the necessary fruit, and you are still a fruit basket. I would like to see all the Kaizer Chiefs, or Pirates players etc players footing their hotel bills, travel costs blah blah

      gungets.tuft - 2012-10-12 06:35

      I bet Mbalula and his hangers on will attend the event for free. Proabably make two trips in advance to check the pool and another to London to get his wardrobe sorted out. What a joke.

  • brian.m.roberts.5 - 2012-10-11 12:12

    It makes perfect sense really, the swimmers are highly successful champions who actually win medals, they can therefore sell their medals to make up the shortfall. The government needs to cut back on paying for these successful athletes who can self fund themselves so that they can afford to send pathetically embarrassing and hopeless politically correct teams like Banyana Banyana to the Olympics.

      TravieGrif - 2012-10-11 12:54

      Seriously Brian!? That is like sending your top employees to a conference and saying that they have to foot the bill. In order for them to do the work that they do, they have to go, and yet they are required to pay for it too! Nothing short of pathetic.

      evanknowles - 2012-10-11 22:54

      I think everyone kinda missed Brian's post there -- try reading all the way to the end.

  • AndrĂ© Lombard - 2012-10-11 12:20

    Sports Minister is trying to raise funds so that he can stay in the best 5-star hotel while he attends the swimming championships.

  • armand.rudolph - 2012-10-11 12:21

    total BS!!

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-10-11 12:27

    Well ins't this dandy, R400 000 for lunch in London during the Olympics, millions on functions and unnecessary expenditure, so it's not what you know it's who you know in other words you have to be a Cadre.

  • pierre.walt - 2012-10-11 12:31

    F88k this country. Those who can advertise our country positively must pay to do it. Those corrupt ANC cadre idiots stealing millions (check Zuma millions for hometown development for instance) and meaning nothing for advertisement except negatively, do not have to pay as they loot anyway. Where will this end?

  • allan.grant.142 - 2012-10-11 12:31

    This does not only apply to swimming all sports expect the competitors to pay. The sad thing is that their are so many school children that don't evan go to provincial trials as the parents can't afford to send them to the ipts, what is evan worse is that most are from the previously disadvantage back round. so how can we get transformation if you are loosing so much talent from a young age?

      TravieGrif - 2012-10-11 13:00

      Sadly Allan you are right. I have experienced that very dilemma, and it is really sad that there isn't a real focus on building and growing talent, and the structures to get young talent developed. At the young age groups is where it really counts, but these administrations are so focussed on having a good time and making sure that they milk their tenure for all they're worth while they're in charge.

  • mabandla.dlamini.3 - 2012-10-11 12:33

    Since when did FIFA get involved in swimming? Surely it's the FINA World Short Course (25m) Swimming Championships. Proof reading FAIL. Though it would be convenient if Blatter fell into a pool and drowned so FIFA can have a chance to sort its self out. at its best.

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-11 12:42

    What next????????????? The money has all been allocated to fix Zooma's village. PATHETIC

  • miklos.szabo.967 - 2012-10-11 12:42

    This is nothing new. It happens in gymnastics all the time.

  • - 2012-10-11 12:48

    I think this is great now they need to apply this to politics any one flying first class/business class must pay the price difference. Hotels only pay 80% make them pay the other 20%

  • bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-10-11 12:50

    Hang on hang on... is it R40 000 to enter the competition? Or is it R40 000 to compete, as in the price of a hotel room for X amount of days, plus food, plus transport, plus airtickets, plus entrance fee? Big difference here..... google should tell all, haha

  • Ntutu Dlova - 2012-10-11 12:53

    These guys r representing our country, surely the government can pay for them. How is this supposed to encourage kids to take up the sport. its time the minister puts his the money where he's mouth is

  • jjooste009 - 2012-10-11 13:31

    That's like asking the Boks to compete in the Rugby Champs, or Bafana or the cricket chaps or askig Oscar to run at the Olympics but he has to pay for trip... Shame on SSA!

      allan.grant.142 - 2012-10-11 13:45

      This is happening the SA u18 water polo team going to the nz to participate in the world youth games have to pay R35000 to play

      bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-10-11 13:47

      Does that include airfairs, hotel rooms, food, transport etc? Or is that just the entrance fee to the event?

  • desertratbkf - 2012-10-11 19:25

    Disgusting! They were hero's in the Olympics, now they're just swimmers! Double standard bastards! I would pee off to swim for another country! Will be a shame since never again will a South African win a swimming medal!

  • jason.marshall.1804 - 2012-10-11 19:27

    Give the SA sport ministers some work in having to explain why our swimmers did not not attend the championship. Stay at home and go take a dip in Zuma's new pool.

  • hugh.robinson.56 - 2012-10-11 22:26

    Any bets that Naidoo and the rest of the hangers on are paid far above what they do. These blood suckers are the reason why sponsors and donors shy away. Most times 7 million of an eight million grant is taken up with ADMINISTRATION costs.

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-10-12 03:42


  • rigel.bernard - 2012-10-28 12:21

    this is a disgrace, these people did the country proud by working so hard to win a medal and none of the companies in the corporate sector are willing to sponsor them

  • deon.dutoit.758 - 2012-11-05 12:06

    typical.........of expecting Top Class professional medals, at professional meetings and professional venues and then we have this amateurish mentality and treatment at home. Shouldnt we be striving for higher levels in all categories - including the sassco/organisers?

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