After funding cuts, partial funding restorations, scratches from World Championship Trials, and green pools, a ray of light for Swimming South Africa.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) announced today that it would chip in enough to fully fund the team of 17 swimmers and 6 officials for the World Championships in July in Barcelona, Spain.
Said SASCOC Chief Executive Officer Tubby Reddy: “Funding is an ongoing problem in South African sport but at SASCOC we felt that we had to do whatever possible to ensure that as many athletes as possible get to compete in Barcelona.”
The 400,000 Rand contribution ($40,000) was based on an estimate of 10 athletes and 6 officials; Swimming South Africa had previously committed to support the travel funding of the top athletes, and between the two, the entire roster should be able to travel cost-free to the World Championships.
The news is late, with several of the country’s top swimmers (including Darian Townsend) pulling out of the World Championship Trials,
In addition to this news, the SASCOC announced that Swimming South Africa head coach Graham Hill has had his contract extended through 2016 and the next Olympics, which should provide a badly-needed element of stability to their National Team program.