South Africa’s most decorated active Olympian, Roland Schoeman, has given SASCOC a ringing endorsement on the Road to London 2012, but at the same time┬á directed a broadside at Swimming South Africa.
ÔÇ£As far as I am concerned it boils down to management. After we failed to perform in 2008 there should have been a complete restructuring within SSA. There wasn’t. There was however a Commission of Inquiry launched into alleged allegations, racism and mistreatment of athletes. Recommendations were made in the Inquiry, but we are yet to see all these recommendations take effect,ÔÇØ Schoeman wrote in his Sport24 column.
ÔÇ£I’m willing to sit down in open discussion with Swimming South Africa and to help pave a way forward for the swimmers in South Africa,ÔÇØ he added.
Schoeman was part of the ÔÇ£Awesome FoursomeÔÇØ 4x100m freestyle relay team that lit up the Athens 2004 Games in world record style, and he also collected a silver and a bronze at that Olympics to become the first South African to collect three medals at a single Games.
In blaming Swimming SA for what was perceived as below-par delivery at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Schoeman also picked out the positives. And he reserved praise for SASCOC, who under their new president Gideon Sam, are striving forward to ensure that excellence is the buzzword and mediocrity isn’t tolerated on the Road to London 2012.
ÔÇ£It isn’t too late to make the necessary changes,ÔÇØ wrote Schoeman. ÔÇ£We want to represent our country to the best of our abilities, we want to be able to work hand in hand with SSA so that at the end of the day we can all be successful and that swimming will continue to grow and improve. I’m pleased to say that SASCOC and Gideon Sam are going about things the right way. Gideon has personally put his name on the line to ensure that medals are won in 2012. We need this same attitude within our federation.
ÔÇ£I believe we can still work together. It isn’t too late for that. I’m willing to work hand in hand with Swimming South Africa. The ball is now in their court.ÔÇØ