R1.1bn for athletes
Never before will so much have been spent. Where will stars come from?
About R1.1 billion will be set aside to prepare Team SA for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban. The money will come from the Games’ projected operating budget of R10.2 billion, according to the breakdown contained in a report by the evaluation commission of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
This formed part of Durban’s overview proposal for the multicoded Games, which the KwaZulu-Natal city was granted the rights to host after the vote by the CGF Congress in New Zealand this week.
Durban 2022 media consultant Faizal Dawjee said: “The breakdown of the R1 billion will only be decided once all the sporting codes have been confirmed for the 2022 Games. As yet, there is still discussion and engagement with the CGF. Everything is done in consultation with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), the national and provincial governments and the city among the key stakeholders.”
However, the next-biggest challenge for Sascoc will be to come up with a development plan for future stars to succeed the current golden generation of Wayde van Niekerk, Anaso Jobodwana (athletics) and Chad le Clos (swimming), who will all be 30 in 2022.
Future track and field stars, as well as those from swimming, are expected to emerge from the two codes’ world championships that will take place in 2017, 2019 and 2021.
In between these championships, there will also be major multicoded events in the form of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast region of Australia, as well as the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next year, and the 2020 edition in Tokyo, Japan.
Sascoc president Gideon Sam is attending the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa and he referred City Press to High Performance Centre CEO Toby Sutcliffe.
Sutcliffe said the development of new talent was already a work in progress.
“I can’t say much for now because we are meeting everybody in the coming week. But our short-term strategy is to identify how many medals we can get in Rio next year. We have 57 athletes already – from various codes – who are being prepared for the 2020 Olympics. The master plan for 2022 is our long-term goal,” said Sutcliffe.
A progressing host nation will intensify the vibe and the interest of spectators right through to the last day of the event.
Durban has proposed a 14-day programme – inclusive of the opening ceremony and 13 days of competition.
Meanwhile, for the first time in 88 years, track cycling is at risk of not being contested at a Commonwealth Games unless more money is made available to build a new velodrome in Durban.
Sam, who is also the Commonwealth Games Federation vice-president, said this week the International Cycling Union must contribute to the cost of building one.
“We cannot afford to build a facility that will cost us millions and not be used,” he told the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
NEW TALENT NEEDED Chad le Clos will be 30 in 2022
GAME PLAN Sascoc president Gideon Sam