R13.9m for Mzansi’s London-medal hopefuls

2012-06-23 18:53

This is over and above the R70m Sascoc gave for preparations

Sascoc (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) has allocated an additional R13.9 million to the sporting codes that have qualified for the Olympics and the Paralympics to spend until the end of the London Games.

This is over and above the R70 million the Olympic governing body has spent on preparing teams since the start of the quadrennial cycle in 2009.

“We engage each of these federations on their needs to prepare, once we know athletes have been selected,” Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy told City Press this week.

The Paralympic team has been allocated R3 650 060 across seven codes.

Reddy added: “It may not be the total of what they asked for as we are never able to do that. But it is pretty close to what they had requested.”

The 17-code Olympic team has received R10 349 145 of the total R13 999 205 allocation from Sascoc, which Reddy said was for those who were not part of Sascoc’s operation excellence programme (Opex).

Banyana Banyana received the biggest portion, with almost R4 million allocated to their preparations.

Hockey has the second highest at R2.8 million and rowing third.

Asked why serious medal contenders such as athletics (R360 000) and swimming (R400 000) have come a bit lower in the allocation list – with even beach volleyball getting more (R613 540) – Reddy said: “Team sport will always be bigger. Banyana and hockey, for instance, get monthly stipends.”

Despite Banyana and the women’s hockey side boasting sponsorship, Reddy said: “The sponsor doesn’t have any association with Olympic Team South Africa.

“That is why we engage with the sponsor to see how we can help in the preparation process. We are not being greedy and opportunistic, as we are being labelled.”

Reddy admitted that Opex received criticism from some athletes and national federations.

“Initially there were complaints. In some instances athletes were reluctant to sign Sascoc contracts because they would say they had personal sponsors.

We had to clear that. Some athletes did not want to give slips to say this is how they spent the money. I’m governed by policies.”

Explaining allocations for individuals, Reddy said: “If you look at the amounts Caster Semenya and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi received, they are smaller than that of Cameron van der Burgh.

Caster and Mbulaeni would have had more had they not taken long to come back and satisfy the conditions. It doesn’t matter who you are – just satisfy the criteria; it is the same as qualification.”

Van der Burgh got more than R1 million since the start of the quadrennial cycle in 2009. Semenya received just more than R400 000 while Mulaudzi got just over R600 000.

SA Olympic History

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