We’re on the wrong track, says Sascoc

2011-11-05 20:34

It’s a disgrace that despite more than R600 million being pumped into South African sport in the past four years, our national teams and athletes have failed to bring home many awards.

This is the view of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam.

Sam told journalists this week: “The model we are using is not correct. It’s clear that we are not doing the right thing.”

The funding includes R416.95 million from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, and R1.45 million from Sascoc’s Olympic Solidarity Allocation and government grants. These amounts were splashed out between 2007 and 2011.

Leading the pack is football, which received R56.05million, while rugby is second with funding amounting to R47.2 million.

Other codes that come close are athletics (R39.8 million), swimming (R37.7 million), cycling (R33.9 million), rowing (R33.4 million) and Netball SA (R31.1 million).

Cricket SA benefited to the tune of R26.9 million.

“There must be something wrong if after winning seven medals at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, we could only produce one at the Beijing Games in 2008, 12 years later,” insisted Sam.

The wily administrator backed his argument by showing slides comparing South Africa with the Netherlands (16 medals in Beijing), Brazil (15), Kenya (14), New Zealand (nine) and Sweden (five).

He said Sascoc would incorporate their suggestions on how the funding model should be changed at their National Sports indaba from November 22-23.

He clarified that these figures related to money given to sports federations openly and did not include the funding that had gone towards schools, clubs and provincial sports councils.

It also excludes money federations make from sponsorship.

City Press has learned that millions have been allocated to different sports federations but are still sitting in the Lotteries Board coffers because some federations have not accounted for previous funding or failed to submit supporting documents with their reports.

Currently, only Banyana Banyana (SA women’s senior team), the women’s canoeing team (K1 500m), rowing (men’s lightweight 4) and rowing (women’s pair) have qualified for next year’s Olympic Games in London.

The wheelchair basketball team has also qualified for the Paralympic Games.

San said Sascoc was also concerned at the findings of a survey they commissioned last year on how federations were run and their understanding of their responsibilities.

“Some findings were quite shocking and raised concerns about whether some federations actually deserve to exist,” he said.

The report was discussed twice already with the federations, but there is no finality. Sam hopes the sports indaba will give direction.

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