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Lack of funding could see Sascoc close

Athletics

JOHANNESBURG - The head of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has warned that the Olympic body could close its doors within a year should the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) cut funding.

Sasco chief executive Tubby Reddy said proposed policy changes at the NLDTF to consider Sascoc as a normal federation could be its death knell as it would only be entitled to R5 million in funds per year.

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To add insult to injury Sascoc would also be subject to the 12-month “cooling-off” period where they would effectively only be able to claim R5 million two times in a four-year Olympic cycle.

“Two of the criteria affects us quite drastically, one is we will be seen as a federation like any other federation, and the second one is the cooling off period which means if you get funding this year you don’t get it next year,” Reddy said.

“That is a bit of a tough one, there is no logic for this... it is a huge problem, we probably receive in the region of R60 and R70 million a year.”

Reddy said without the extra funding Sascoc would not be able to deliver on its mandate of preparing and delivering teams to multi-coded international games such as the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

Sascoc is also responsible for promoting and developing high performance sport and through Operation Excellence, it provides financial and coaching support for the country’s Olympic hopefuls.

“You won’t be able to send teams, you won’t be able to fund your athletes, Operation Excellence, so it becomes a problem,” Reddy said.

“There is no point in being open, if you can’t deliver teams and prepare athletes there is no point, there is nothing else we have to do.”

Last year South Africa’s cash-strapped Olympic body received an 11th hour bailout from the National Lotteries Committee (NLC) a month ahead of the Rio Olympic Games when it announced a R70-million cash injection.

Reddy said although Sascoc were still in negotiations with the NLC, failure to come to a favourable agreement could prove detrimental to its existence. “I know the leadership is busy negotiating at a higher level so hopefully we can turn it around,” Reddy said.

@ockertde

The Star

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