R1.1bn for ath­letes

Never be­fore will so much have been spent. Where will stars come from?

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE dmoth­owa­gae@city­press.co.za

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.

PHOTO: FELIX DLANGAMAND­LA

NEW TAL­ENT NEEDED Chad le Clos will be 30 in 2022

PHOTO: ALLAN JAMES LIPP / BACKPAGEPI­X

GAME PLAN Sas­coc pres­i­dent Gideon Sam

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