SASCOC on Wednesday announced their latest and updated athlete support system for the country’s leading Olympic and Paralympic sportsmen and women at a function at Olympic House, Johannesburg.
This follows a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in London last year where our Olympians returned with six medals and our Paralympians won 29 medals.
Immediately after the London Games, the country’s Olympic governing body wasted no time in turning its attention to the next quadrennial period leading up to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Operation Excellence (OPEX) is the premier programme for prospective Olympic and Paralympic medalists and the programme consists of three different tiers which provide varying degrees of funding and support.
A total of 13 athletes on the Olympic Programme and 14 athletes on the Paralympic Programme will be part of the Tier One structure and exciting news is that there is now added special support for athletes who may not be ranked sufficiently high enough but are nevertheless preparing for 2014 Commonwealth Games qualification.
“There is no doubting that SASCOC’s increased support structures in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics was a major factor in the country’s success at these events,” said SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy. “As such, we remain 100% committed to giving every last bit of support that we are able to and are constantly looking at new avenues of funding and back-up.”
All the country’s National Federations were asked in February to nominate athletes they regarded as qualifying for support and the deadline was 4 March, 2013.
And still more athletes names will be forwarded to the Provincial Academies to be assisted where possible and in line with the Academies’ athletes support policy.
“We’re roping in support from wherever we can to help our athletes live their Olympic and Paralympic dreams,” said SASCOC President Mr Gideon Sam. “Apart from sourcing funding wherever possible, we have roped in the Defence Force, our academic institutions and the various provincial academies, all of whom have parts to play in the bigger support picture. We saw how OPEX helped us get back on track in London after Beijing, now we are extending that programme even further.”
In the 2009-2012 quadrennial SASCOC supported 58 Olympic athletes and 42 Paralympian athletes to the tune of a whopping R70.7-million.
Said Ms Ezera Tshabangu (General Manager: High Performance Dept): “It was evident from the Games that it is critical for this support to continue to ensure that athletes and National Federations are able to plan for the next quadrennial (2013-2016).
“Regarding team sports, limited resources mean that SASCOC shall again prioritise sports codes based on past quadrennial performance history. This is to ensure that our resources are invested in sports that will return medals for the country, which is obviously the ultimate performance measure in any Games and determines SA’s standing in terms of rankings.”
Important to consider is that only athletes still eligible for 2016 qualification and participation shall be considered for support over the next quadrennial.
Support services offered to athletes through the programme will be as follows: Living expenses, medical aid, and transport for training sessions, access to training facilities,
International camps and competitions, local camps and competitions, coaching fees, scientific and medical support services, technological services, sport specific equipment.
Still more support for our up and coming athletes comes in the form of SASCOC’s bursary scheme, now being rolled out around the country and funded through dividends from Phumelela.
A total of 650 applications were received nationwide by the closing date of 15 February 2013 and 11 names (five male, six female) have been shortlisted for support.
“Priority was given to national athletes who were either doing first or second year studies, with emphasis on first year applicants to allow us to support them for the full duration of their course,” said Tshabangu.
Among these names is rising sprint star Akani Simbine who set a national junior 100-metre record at the Zone VI Games in Zambia last year. “He is registered for his second year but his rationale for his inclusion is that he is an athlete who has shown great potential. The fact that he is studying information science is important because with the sports world being driven by technology his course is seen as being important in the development of databases for athlete management systems and be of great value to the sports fraternity,” said Tshabangu.
The names of athletes on the latest Olympic and Paralympic support programmes are as follows:
Athletics: Anaso Jobodwana, Khotso Mokoena, Lehann Fourie, Sunette Viljoen, Willem Coertzen
Canoeing: Bridgitte Hartley
Rowing: James Thompson, John Smith, Lawrence Ndlovu
Swimming: Cameron Van Der Burgh, Chad Le Clos, Roland Schoeman
Triathlon: Richard Murray
Cycling: Teagan OKeeffe
Equestrian: Samantha McIntosh
Gymnastics: Kirsten Beckett
Triathlon: Wian Sullwald
Athletics: Cornel Fredericks, Lynique Prinsloo, Zarck Visser
Boxing: Siphiwe Lusizi, Ayabonga Sonjica, Tulani Mbenge
Canoeing: Tiffany Kruger
Cycling: Ashleigh Moolman, Bernard Esterhuizen
Judo: Jacques Van Zyl
Rowing: Lee Ann Persse, NaydeneSmith
Sailing: Asenathi Jim, Roger Hudson
Swimming: Michael Meyer, Myles Brown
Weightlifting: Jean Greeff
Olympics Special Support Programme
Athletics: Elroy Gelant, PC Beneke, Wade Van Niekerk
Badminton: Jacob Maliekal
Cycling: Candice Neethling, Nolan Hoffman
Judo: Siyabulela Mabulu
Rowing: Mens Pair
Table Tennis: Team
Taekwondo: Joseph Maponyane, Hamilton Motawana, Gopolang Mokoka
Athletics: Anrune Liebenberg, Arnu Fourie, Dyan Buis, Hilton Langenhoven, Ilse Hayes, Michael Louwrens, Jonathan Ntutu, Fanie van der Merwe, Tebogo Mokgalagadi, Union Sekailwe
Cycling: Ernst Van Dyk
Swimming: Charl Bouwer, Hendri Herbst, Kevin Paul
Athletics: Andrea Dalle Ave, Casper Schutte, Charl Du Toit
Cycling: Gerhard Viljoen
Paralympics Special Support
Athletics: Chenelle Van Zyl, Zandile Nhlapo, Louzanne Coetzee, Zanele Situ
Cycling: Roxy Burns, Stuart McCreadie
Swimming: Achmat Hassiem, Shireen Sapiro
Rowing: Sandra Khumalo
Shooting: Von Zeuner Kohne
Wheelchair Tennis: Kgothatso Montjane, Lucas Sithole
Table Tennis: Team
The shortlist of athletes recommend for bursary support until completion of their studies is as follows:
Katlego Sotsaka (rowing), Akani Simbine (athletics), Maite Makola (football), Kristen Matthews (fencing), Suzaan Broodryk (athletics), Jacque Joubert (athletics), Justine Palframan (athletics), Natalie Friesling (gymnastics), Nthabiseng Matshaba (football), Johannes Pretorius (athletics), Landelani Ngubane (basketball)