JOHANNESBURG - He rules in pools all over the world but now Chad le Clos wants to build his own in the heart of Cape Town and hopefully attract a new generation of South African Olympic champions.
The world and Olympic champion has his sights set on an established stadium where he hopes to drop in a 50-metre pool that could one day host a Fina World Series gala.
“At the moment we are hopefully going to get an answer about getting the pool. We have an awesome piece of land in town and it is in a central location,” Le Clos said.
“Once we get the thumbs up from government we can move forward and look for a major sponsor, preferably a big corporate, to back us and fund the project.
“We already have the coaches and the structures in place. It is now about getting the funding behind us.”
Le Clos is on the cusp of becoming the first man to win four World Cup Series titles when the third and final cluster of the global short-course tour starts in Beijing on Friday.
The swimming sensation has already wrapped up the first two clusters and will be looking to clinch the third, which consists of three galas, to claim the overall title.
The World Cup Series practically belongs to South Africa in the men's category with Le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh having won three overall titles each and Ryk Neethling two.
Le Clos believes he will be able to develop a world-class facility that would one day be able to bring the World Cup back to South Africa.
“It is an indoor facility, a stadium that is not being used, and we are going to drop a pool in there and it has everything,” he explained. “I want to host nationals and a World Cup there some day. If I can raise close to R3 or R4 million, then I’ll get the rest, including a 25-metre warm-up pool.
“I’ve got plans and I’ve sent the proposals to a few people.”
He said the pool would not be exclusive to elite swimmers but would be used to do crucial development work and hopefully unearth future stars.
“Going forward it will go much deeper than just high performance but also youth development for underprivileged communities.There are a lot of good things behind it and it is just getting someone on board that will help support us.”