Embarrassment for Swim SA

Cape Town - South African swimmers, including Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos, will have to pay their own way to compete in the FINA World Championships in Barcelona later this year as their cash-strapped federation cannot fund their trip.

Swimming South Africa CEO Shaun Adriaanse confirmed that the federation would be sending the swimmers to Spain but they would have to pay for their own flights and accommodation for the championship starting on July 19.

The swimming federation lost their major sponsor last year as South African telecommunications company Telkom pulled the plug on their $1.25m (R11.55m) per year deal.

Adriaanse said the organisation has canvassed extensively for a new backer, but that there have been no takers.

Bert le Clos, who manages his son Chad, called the situation "pathetic".

"It's pathetic that you have to (buy) your own flight tickets," he told South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper. "It's a disgrace when you consider the amount of medals and glory swimmers bring to this country. There are other teams, which I don't want to point out, that get millions but bring back nothing."

South Africa's sports minister Fikile Mbalula said he was unaware of the plight of the federation, though it has emerged he tried to intervene on their behalf when Telkom withdrew their sponsorship.

South Africa won three medals in the pool at the 2012 London Olympic Games - Le Clos collecting gold (200m) and silver (100m) in the butterfly and Cameron van der Berg gold in the 100m breaststroke.

- Reuters
Jenifer Johnstone 2013-03-31 05:06:22 PM
wheres the lotto profits going cant they help
Ivan Schoeman 2013-03-31 05:07:17 PM
And the fat cats will probably make their way over to Spain to ''work'' and guess who'll be paying for that trip,Taxpayers! This is pathetic to say the least.
Dazza22 2013-03-31 05:20:07 PM
Sports minister isn't aware? It would be funny if it wasn't so sad
John Thelps 2013-03-31 05:20:48 PM
I am sure Chad can pay for himself and maybe sponsor a few who cannot afford the tickets....Ubuntu...
Vin Savage 2013-03-31 05:23:39 PM
Well, most 'Africans' can't swim - as we know... so that is why this sport is not a priority... If it was soccer (the national pastime, that they are still hopeless at) millions of Rands would be pouring in...
Madulla Nkosi 2013-03-31 05:25:24 PM
Those at the helm of Swimming South Africa are clueless. They couldn't tell the difference between the breaststroke and the backstroke. To them, the butterfly is an insect. But, they will be in Barcelona - all fully paid for. So, it figures.
Erich Goosen 2013-03-31 05:37:32 PM
SA swimmers brought this country much fame but consists of very little or no black swimmers. Sport SA will only invest in sports where the majority of the participants are black.
John Butler 2013-03-31 05:44:14 PM
I bet the sports minister will have his expenses paid for so that he can be there to have his picture taken with the medal winners. I hope that they don't wear national colours, fly the flag or sing the national anthem since they are basically representing themselves.
Phillys Winterbottom 2013-03-31 05:44:43 PM
Yaas, Ched, you maast undastent det wi kant use owa resoses on sweeemeeng, wi nid de emali for de beeg blek ka's end de treeps ova sis!!!!!!
deon.duplessis.144 2013-03-31 05:46:25 PM
WTF?!?!?! Do we live in gawd-damn banana republic?!?! WTF? Geez, once again I hang my head in shame for the "government" Pathetic