No Incentives for Olympic medal winners - SASCOC
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee (SASCOC) President Barry Hendricks has confirmed that there will be no incentives for medal winners in the upcoming rescheduled Olympics games in Tokyo. In the past, there have been occasions when medalists received monetary reward, as a token of appreciation for raising the country's flag at the global sporting showpiece. But Covid19 has halted the sport across the country last year leaving many federations broke and SASCOC is it seems is no exception.
"No, we don't have the funding for the incentives," explains Hendricks. "But we will work for the next few years because you remember there is still Africa Youth Games happening in Lesotho, then next year it's the Winter games in Belgium then the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. So every year something is happening, as we build sponsors, then we can start building those incentives in," he told #TheTopRunner.
Hendricks who was elected to the hot seat last November after serving as the acting President for five months, is happy with the progress the new board has made since entering office.
"With the election of the new board, they have been focusing on delivering a quality, professional and trustworthy organization. And that has spilt over to have the trust of the sponsors that have come on board to assist us. Sponsors such as Mr. Price Sport and Planet Fitness. All of them together have contributed to reducing our budget so we can spend the money where it's needed and it's on athletes," said Hendricks.
Even though Wayde Van Niekerk and Caster Semenya are yet to hit the Olympic qualifying mark to be on the plane to Japan, Hendricks remains hopeful that these two medalists from Rio 2016 can still seal the spots in the squad before the qualification window closes on 29 June.
"A lot of can happen before the end of the month, so no one knows," he said optimistically. "You must note that Wayde did well in 100m and 200m and we are yet to see him in the 400m in which is his specialty. And I think he is leaving it for the last and we wish them all the luck."
The Games of the XXXII Olympiad kick off in July and will end in August. Team SA earned 10 medals at Rio 2016.