Sascoc defends number of Olympic-bound officials
The South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has defended the proportion of athletes to officials in Team South Africa for the 2012 London Olympic Games, starting later this month.
“I think you’ll find that most countries going to the Olympics will have roughly the same proportion of athletes to officials, if not more,” Sascoc’s CEO Tubby Reddy said via a statement issued to the media on Thursday.
A team of 125 South African athletes (67 male and 58 female) will travel to London accompanied by 46 officials, serving in various capacities.
An additional 12 medical staff (three doctors and nine physiotherapists) will ensure the wellbeing of the athletes along with a general team management compliment of eight.
In comparison, Australia’s Olympic team comprises 410 athletes and 319 officials.
“Wherever possible, we have kept officials down to the minimum, without sacrificing on the qualify of support,” Reddy said. “In many of the codes where we don’t have a large competitor base, then the official will double up on coach/manager duties.
“It stands to reason when it comes to the bigger codes, more support staff are needed.”
Reddy used equestrian as an example where there was only one competitor but, by the nature of the sport, a coach/manager, a groom and a veterinary surgeon were needed to accompany the athlete.
“It is a pity that people who comment on these situations do not do enough homework and research on the issue before putting out misleading statements in the public,” he added.
“We have to spend half our lives and time on trying to justify what does not need to be justified.
“When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, we at Sascoc are more than happy that there is a satisfactory balance between officials and competitors.”