SPORTS AGENT, ON THE VALUE OF COACHING SUPPORT
is to understand the core driver of Olympic Sport, which will remain the coach. A coach’s programme delivers the athlete’s results. Seems obvious but most times it’s overlooked or not valued. A large percentage of the South African Olympic athletes are privileged to have an NOC that’s provides support. The athletes also have the facilities and competitions required to qualify and if required are allowed to travel to qualify for the Games. This isn’t the case for many other countries both in Africa and further afield. We also need the SA public to understand the magnitude of the Games and level of accomplishment when athletes win medals.
Financial support is not a guarantee on actual results. A large percentage of Olympians at the Games achieve qualifications with very little or no support. As an example Ethiopian track and field athletes ranked in the world Top 10 are not receiving NOC or NF support and yet deliver finals and medal performances at the Games. Results/performances are largely attributed to athletes’ desire and belief in their abilities and the support of their personal coaches. Usually these guys are not financially supported. Financial support has multiple beneficial aspects but what it directly allows is ease of mind and optimum planning. To financially sustain athletes in Olympic Sports without corporate partnerships is rather challenging.
An elite athlete’s “support System” would include the services of medical staff (doctor, physio, chiro, etc), facilities (sports specific), international and national competitions, training camps, accommodation (most follow a successful coach) and education. The main support system is, however, the family. Cost-wise, this would be an annual average of R300 000 to R800 000 per athlete. 46 38 29 24 13 11 11 8
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