Chad le Clos says he is doing all he can to change the dynamics of swimming in the country, but wants stronger funding initiatives to ensure the sport transformed at a quicker rate.
Even though a quarter of a century has elapsed since South Africa gained democracy, black Africans in pools at elite national level are non-existent.
It is not a sport that the country’s majority had or even has easy access to, with pools in townships and rural areas a rarity.
Le Clos has been doing his bit through his foundation to try and change things in recent years, but the 27-year-old is still not satisfied.
Swimming South Africa’s main sponsor at the moment remains National Lotto. Its previous major partner was telecommunication giant, Telkom.
Whereas other codes continue to attract plenty of financial input, the primarily Olympic-famed sport is battling along in the background.
This is a sad state of affairs for Le Clos, who comes from humble beginnings and had to pay his own way around the globe for a large part of his early career. He has urged the big corporates to sponsor swimming.
Durban-star Le Clos is mainly based in Cape Town nowadays, while he also spends plenty of time training in Turkey.
His involvement with the Mother City comes after he launched his Chad Le Clos Academy in the region. His parents, meanwhile, remain in his hometown after a difficult few years when they were both diagnosed with cancer.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist says they are both doing much better now, adding that for him family has always come first.
South Africa’s golden boy of swimming is currently preparing for the 2019 World Championships that will be held in Gwangju, South Korea from July 12 to 28. – Report by Thahir Asmal
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