Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

Star swimmer Corbett lands plum sponsorshi­p


KAYLENE Corbett who ranks among the country’s poolside medal prospects for the 2024 Paris Olympics, has been given a shot in the arm with a lucrative sponsorshi­p.

South Africa’s swimmers have to fight great odds in an attempt to shine on the world stage.

This is because the national federation is unable to offer adequate training and support from technical staff such as physiother­apists, biokinetic­ists, physiologi­sts and sports scientists.

Research has shown that the world’s No.1 swimming country, the US, invests $40 million per medal at the Olympics. The figure is calculated from grassroots support through to training for the Olympics.

When the winter months approach swimmers might not be able to train properly if pools are not heated because of load shedding.

The pool chemicals brand HTH has given Olympic Games finalist Corbett a two-year sponsorshi­p deal worth R500 000 annually. Corbett says this partnershi­p will ensure she can focus solely on swimming.

“I’m delighted to dive into this relationsh­ip with HTH, a brand synonymous with my playground, the pool,” said Corbett.

“For as far back as I can remember I’ve dreamt of and carved out my Olympic participat­ion.”

Since readmissio­n, swimming has been South Africa’s most successful Olympic code and thanks to swimmers like Tatjana Schoenmake­r, Chad le Clos and Corbett this may continue for some time.

The biggest factor in the USA’s Olympic success is the role of the universiti­es and in South Africa, the University of Pretoria have played an equally massive role. Corbett is studying at the University of Pretoria (Tuks) where she trains under Olympic-winning coach

Rocco Meiring who also looks after Schoenmake­r and Pieter Coetze.

University of Pretoria’s swimming pool has the highest concentrat­ion of elite competitio­n medals from the entire continent. What Tuks swimmers have achieved at a global level is against all odds.

Corbett trains up to 22 hours a week and is preparing for the SA Nationals and World Champs qualificat­ion from April 5-10. Following that, two options are available – the World Champs in Japan or World Student games in China.

HTH marketing manager Elsabe Venter said when they were alerted to Kaylene’s 2024 Olympic Games potential, they dived right in.

“Athlete commercial­isation platform, MatchKit.co, matched us with Kaylene, based on our obvious fit with one of South Africa’s most exciting swimming exports,” said Venter.

“Sports funding is a win-win scenario for both the brand and the athlete it supports – provided the values align and we believe that empowering young sporting talent is critical for our country’s future growth and success.

“For HTH, investing in Kaylene is an important demonstrat­ion of our commitment to our core values, one of which is empowermen­t.”

Corbett finished fifth in the

200m breaststro­ke final at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where Schoenmake­r broke the world record and won South Africa’s only gold in Japan.

 ?? DERYCK FOSTER BackpagePi­x ?? KAYLENE Corbett. |
DERYCK FOSTER BackpagePi­x KAYLENE Corbett. |

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