No funds, swimmers to splash the cash

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The swimmers have been given two months to pay the R30 000 to represent the country at the showpiece from December 6 to 11.

“This is a subsidised tour for all team members. The estimated cost of the tour will be R30 000 for flight, accommodation and visa costs,” Swimming SA (SSA) chief executive Shaun Adriaanse said in a letter to the swimmers.

“Team Members will be required to deposit R20 000 with acceptance and the remainder by 1 November 2016. All team members will be subject to the Code of Conduct as per the SSA Constitution.”

While the swimmers would have to fork out R30 000, Adriaanse said this was half of the full costs which was subsided by the federation.

“They don’t pay for everything, we subsidise half of the costs, the actual costs are R60 000 which is high because it is in Canada,” he said.

The only swimmers who could be exempt from paying the costs are the country’s three Rio Olympic finalists Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh, and Brad Tandy, who would be able to rely on funding from Sascoc’s Opex program.

The swimming federation has been under serious financial pressure since the withdrawal of Telkom’s R11m annual sponsorship at the end of 2011.

“The swimmers always used to contribute but the percentages were much lower, and for our senior teams we made a far bigger contribution and in some cases we covered all the costs,” Adriaanse explained.

Adriaanse said it was also up to individual provinces to apply for funding for their respective swimmers which would also lighten the burden on the individual athletes.

Paying their own way has been part and parcel of team selections since then as the federation battles to take advantage of Olympic gold medalists Le Clos and Van der Burgh as poster children.

The team includes four women which is an improvement from last year’s World Long-Course Championships in Russia and the Rio Olympic Games where there were none.

The Star

Original source: No funds, swimmers to splash the cash

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