No money to send SA swimmers in Spain

By Drum Digital
02 April 2013

South Africa's top swimmers will have to pay their own way if they want to compete in the Fina World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, later this year, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

Swimming SA said it did not have sufficient funds to send the swimmers, among them Olympic medalists Chad le Clos and Cameron der Burgh, to Spain.

Telkom in 2012 withdrew its sponsorship of R11, 5 million to Swimming SA.

Winston Rabotapi, DA spokesman on sport, on Monday called on the government to intervene.

"It undermines the sport if elite athletes have to bear their own costs to represent South Africa in world events. Our sportsman need to focus on medals, not fundraising."

He said something was amiss when the department of sport spent millions on non-essential operations, but did not have money to send athletes to competitions.

"In 2011 the department spnt more than 60 percent of the money it received from the national lottery on a sporting awards evening, which cost R46 million."

"The department has thus far refused to disclose how much it paid in 2012 to send a delegation to the Olympic Games. The department needs to get its priorities right," Rabotapi said.

-by Sapa

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