SASCOC President promises financial rewards for London 2012 Paralympians will match Olympians
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
September 26 - South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) President Gideon Sam has promised that the country's London 2012 Paralympic Games medallists would receive the same financial bonuses as their Olympic counterparts.
South Africa put in a strong performance at the Paralympics as they picked up 29 medals, eight of which were gold, to finish in 18th place on the medal table.
However, while South Africa's Olympic medal winners were promised R400,000 (£3,000/$4,845/€3,770) for gold, R200,000 (£1,500/$2,420/€1,885) for silver and R80,000 (£600/$970/€755) for bronze, the Paralympic medal winners were set financial rewards of R100,000 (£750/$1,210/€940) for gold, R75,000 (£550/$888/€690) for silver and R40,000 (£300/$485/€380) for bronze.
But South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said Paralympic medal winners deserved the same incentives as the Olympic medal winners and the SASCOC President has backed his calls.
"In sport the politics of sport are handled by the Minister," he said.
"Issues of policy formulation are in his and his deputy's hands.
"He then said that there should be no discrimination about preparations and rewards.
"We at SASCOC are implementers of policy so we listen and react and there's no debate about increasing them.
"My chief executive Tubby Reddy will find the money somewhere.
"And again, we will plan better and better ahead of [Rio] 2016.
"This is not an issue; our athletes will get their money just as the Olympians did."
Sam also acknowledged the uphill struggle on the Paralympic front, despite the fact that South African athletes such as sprinter Oscar Pistorius and swimmer Natalie du Toit proved huge stars at the Games.
"We have seen that the world is not waiting for us and we have to catch up," said Sam.
"This journey in London now ends and another starts immediately.
"We'll go into another camp and design the future.
"We simply have to improve our structures back at home or else we are done.
"We once again go to the provinces to talk to the people who support us."