Ahead of the Olympic Games in Brazil in August, the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has partnered with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to fund athletes for the tournament in Rio and beyond.
“The sponsorship commitment, valued at R70-million, will provide a much-need injection into addressing athletes’ requirements in the lead up to the Rio Olympics,” Sascoc said.
— TeamSouthAfrica (@teamsa16) June 29, 2016
The money will be used to transport Team SA to Brazil for the Olympics, Paralympic Games and the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games.
Chairperson of the NLC Prof Ntshengedzeni Nevhutanda described the alliance as historical because the commission had “seen our athletes perform at the Olympics since South Africa was re-admitted into the global sports organisation”.
“We have witnessed the outstanding achievements of our sportsmen and women who have, on numerous occasions, brought us glory. The NLC is confident that our on-going partnership with Sascoc will bring continuous development and further success for our athletes.”
Sascoc’s president, Gideon Sam, thanked the NLC and voiced appreciation of the public’s support through buying lottery tickets.
“We can assure the NLC that their support and continued association with Sascoc has enabled our athletes to compete at the highest levels of international sports,” Sam said.
The sponsorship was a tremendous boost for Team SA, said Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy, who assured the nation the athletes would leave South Africa feeling proud.
Speaking at Sascoc’s first general council meeting earlier this year, Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula affirmed the government’s support of the country’s athletes. “Specific needs for coaches of medal contenders will be identified as the focus in the preparations is narrowed,” he said.
“Extra technical sport support in terms of strategic approach and financial support to the coaches will then be provided in order to increase the possibilities and opportunities to realise and secure medals for our athletes.”
CAA African Senior Championships
At the recent CAA African Senior Championships hosted in Durban, South Africa topped the medals tally with 33, which bode well for the country’s Olympic hopes.
— Athletics Africa (@athleticsafrica) June 27, 2016
The 96-member team came out with 16 gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals by the end of tournament on 26 June 2016. Kenya followed in second place with a total of 24 medals, and Nigeria took the third spot with 16.
Source: Sascoc and South Africa.info reporter