Swimming SA and Olympic athletes look to the future

Swimming SA management and its Olympic team members have agreed to work together in the interest of the sport, in a bid to provide the best planning and infrastructure for the country’s four-year campaign leading up to the 2012 Olympics.

At a 90-minute meeting in Germiston on Saturday, which was chaired by Swimming SA president Jace Naidoo, the Olympic swimmers voiced their concerns over several issues regarding the team’s preparations for the Beijing Olympics.

Those present agreed that an athletes’ commission, to be headed by a former national team swimmer, should be put in place. The commission will, in future, voice the concerns of the swimmers to the Swimming SA management.

The swimmers requested Swimming SA to sort out monthly payment issues as part of their Olympic build-up programme, with the federation agreeing to discuss this matter with its providers of financial support.

Other requests put forward by the swimmers that will be favourably considered by Swimming SA include increasing the number of international swimming galas abroad 12 to 24 months prior to the Olympics; the use of more sports science testing-related programmes to monitor the training programmes of the swimmers; and the use of a sports psychologist to assist with the mental preparations of the athletes.—Sapa

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