U.S.-Based South African Swimmers to Cover Portion of Own Travel Costs for 2014 Commonwealth Games

South African swimmers based in the United States were informed this morning that they would have to cover a portion of their flight costs for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the end of July.

Though the news was passed along to the athletes by Swimming South Africa, the decision was made by the South African Olympic Committee (SASCOC). In the email, American-based members of the Commonwealth Games team were told that the SASCOC would only be able to fund R10,000 of the travel costs for what they called “breakaway athletes,” which includes athletes based in the United States. That comes to around $936.

Swimmers are expected to report to Glasgow, Scotland on July 17th.

While that would cover most of the cost for U.S.-based swimmers living on the east coast (direct flights from New York City run as cheaply as $1,100 with a layover and overnight travel), for those based out of other areas of the country, the costs can be more prohibitive. Tickets from further west run more in the range of $1,500 for early-morning flights, or More toward $2,000 for later flights or direct flights (which is ideal for an athlete about to compete).

Several South African swimmers have expressed their displeasure with the decision, including those who were affected by the decision and those who were not. South African swimmers have a history of struggling to find federation funding for travel to major meets, though in years past, Princess Charlene of Monaco has stepped in to help.

Athletes who fly to South Africa to travel with the team will be able to have their flights booked through the SASCOC.

The South African roster for the Commonwealth Games, which was announced yesterday, can be seen here. Of the 21 named, 5 of them (Brad Tandy, Dylan Bosch, Roland Schoeman, Marne Erasmus, and Tara-Lynn Nicholas) train in the United States for most of the year.

The letter did indicate that Swimming South Africa was still negotiating with the SASCOC to increase the flight contribution. We reached out to the SASCOC and Swimming South Africa for comment, neither of whom responded.

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Joel Lin

I will never understand why thr RSA federation has it so in for the athletes who train at Arizona and bring international medals to the RSA. Athens relay all four guys trained up at Arizona and this is the legacy after them? Shameful.


A federation so blind to what is going on.. Could there be a reason they are training here? Shouldn’t it be a concern that your best swimmers don’t train at home and have no desire to come back? What can RSA do to make it more attractive to have their best and brightest train at home? Is this how they would treat soccer players who do not train and compete in RSA with the exception of NT opportunities?

Rather than fault them for their decision, why not show them the support they deserve for still trying to represent the country with the best of intentions and bring RSA competitive glory.


Well, I guess the South African Federation won’t be able to afford paying the training expenses of Vyachanin then! That’s good news for the US, because if he combined with Left Close, Van Der Burgh and Schoeman they’d certainly have a relay that was tough to beat! If Brazil was smart, they’d start negotiations with the Big Man quickly!

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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