By Neville Smith, ZwemZa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 22. SPORT Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced has announced that his department will offer financial assistance to the cash strapped national swimming federation Swimming South Africa.
The R2,7million sponsorship will help the national team's campaign at the forthcoming FINA World Swimming Championships that will take place in Barcelona in Spain during July.
Mbulula said that the sponsorship will ensure that South Africa is well represented at the competition and the funding is a “stop-gap” measure.
In April 2013, Swimming South Africa indicated that it would not have enough cash to sponsor the entire team and that those participants who qualified would have to make a contribution to attend this elite event.
Only Olympic gold medallists Cameron van den Burgh, Chad le Clos and open water swimming ace Troyden Prinsloo were covered by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
SASCOC had announced earlier on Wednesday that they would sponsor a further R435,000.00 in aid.
Swimming South Africa CEO Shaun Adriaanse said that the funding lifts a massive burden off the body and swimmers.
“For us its about the athletes. This sponsorship will take the financial contribution off the athletes and make sure the travel to Barcelona and just focus on competing.”