Covid-19 impacts on would-be Team SA sponsors

Sascoc not setting target for Olympics medals

Barry Hendricks.
Barry Hendricks.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

The  SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has no plans to put medal target for Team SA travelling to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July.

Sascoc president Barry Hendricks told Sowetan that due to challenges posed by the Covid-19 lockdown, SA's Olympic sports controlling body will not put further pressure on the team.

“There are some of our swimmers who are keen and confident about doing extremely well at these events. We are also working with our federations daily to find out what are the challenges [they face] so that we can assist in their preparations. We have the challenge to prepare our athletes and teams for these events. It is an ongoing thing in terms of the build-up right until the Olympics and Paralympics," said Hendricks.

"There was a case where several sponsors who were keen to sponsor us, but because of Covid-19, they decided against it. They had to think twice about it."

Hendricks said the athletes must go to the Games to enjoy themselves and medals would be a bonus.

“Unlike the previous Sascoc bosses, I do not like to put a target on the team. The Olympic Games are a lifetime experience and we do not want to put unnecessary pressure on the team."

The other challenge that Hendricks and his board face is to secure an airline that will fly the team to Japan.

They used SAA in the previous Games but it would not be possible this year. He said it would cost Sascoc R47m to take SA Team to the Olympics and R18m for the Paralympics.

“We are working with several airlines to try and reduce the costs or for them to cover the costs. The flight costs are huge on our budget. We are talking to international airlines to see if they can sponsor us depending on the Covid-19 situation. Our immediate goal is to get an airline sponsor," added Hendricks.

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