Le Clos takes salary cut to help struggling swimmers

Chad le Clos (Gallo Images)
Chad le Clos (Gallo Images)

South African swimming star Chad le Clos has taken a salary cut to help struggling swimmers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Le Clos confirmed to Sport24 on Thursday that he and his swimming team, Energy Standard, have decided to take a voluntary 65 percent salary cut.

"We won the ISL (International Swimming League) last year and they have a solidarity programme. All of the swimmers from Energy Standard, which is the team that I swim for in Turkey, we've all decided to take a 65 percent salary cut so that we can spread around enough money for all the swimmers in this difficult time," said Le Clos.

"That's something that the ISL have done, not just me, but all the swimmers from my team like Sarah (Sjostrom).

"At the moment, it's a difficult time for everyone financially but for me I'm okay... I'm not motivated by money, it doesn't drive me. If you said to me I'll give you R100 million and you can't swim at the Olympics next year, I'd say no."

Le Clos also confirmed that his CLeC Academy, which is situated in Claremont in Cape Town, was forced to close the business due to the coronavirus, but added that his foundation is still going strong.

"The academy unfortunately had to be suspended just for now because it's difficult to keep these costs running," he said.

"The foundation is still up and running. We have some amazing projects coming in and hopefully we can get some money in as well. In December/January, in the summer time, we've got some really cool stuff set up around South Africa in Durban, Joburg and Cape Town."

The Chad le Clos Foundation helps those less fortunate and provides a platform for kids to follow their dreams.

Speaking on the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Le Clos said he expected it to take a while before things get back to normal.

"It was the right decision to go on lockdown from the President (Cyril Ramaphosa), it's imperative that we stay safe during this time because of our parents, grandparents and our loved ones," said the 28-year-old, who is currently in lockdown in Durban. 

"I think only for the next year or two, life will be not be the same. People are going to be precautious but hopefully I can start to train soon, I can't take off another month!"

Le Clos underwent two surgeries last week and is currently out of action for between 4-6 weeks.

Meanwhile, all sport in South Africa has been suspended since 19 March. Despite South Africa 'downgrading' to Level 4 lockdown, there will be no resumption of sport until the country reaches Level 1.

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