South African telecommunications provider Telkom has been unveiled as the country’s major Olympic sponsor for the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Brazil.
Telkom’s association with the team of athletes that will represent the country in Brazil was announced by the South Africans Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee this week.
The 2016 Olympics will take place from 5 to 21 August in Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Paralympic Games are scheduled for 7 to 18 September, with Team South Africa set to receive comprehensive sponsorship from the state-owned entity.
A funding program for medalists of both the able bodied and paralympic sections is set to emerge as a result of this partnership.
Winning medalists and their coaches will receive a share of the final total funding pool, based on the gold, silver or bronze medals that they earn at the games.
TimesLive report that Olympic sponsor Telkom will provide an estimated $512,500 (R8 million) as part of the sponsorship, with half of the money going to the prize fund for eventual medalists, while the rest will go to logistics and support for the entire team at both the Paralympic and Olympic games.
South Africa emerged from the London 2012 Olympics as the most successful African nation, having completed a haul of three gold, two silver and one bronze medal. This allowed TeamSA to finish 23rd on the overall medals table.
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Two of the medals were for swimming, and they will be expecting great things from their swimmers once again this year, with the likes of Cameron van der Burgh and Chad Le Clos likely to earn medals in their disciplines.
The country’s Paralympians won eight gold‚ 12 silver and nine bronze medals in London‚ placing as the 18th best nation at the games.
President of the South Africans Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Gideon Sam, spoke about the sponsorship with great pride.
“As we see positive selections come on stream leading into Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, it’s positive to also see brands like Telkom commit to the Olympic Team and Paralympic Teams for Rio,” he said, according to SASCOC.
He added, “We expect to be taking up to 230 athletes and officials to Rio and to send the Team requires such positive support of brands like Telkom. On the eve of our departure to the Rio Olympics, SASCOC could not have asked for better news.”
“With this sponsorship, Telkom has shown confidence in TeamSA and will be embarking on a journey that will culminate at the Rio Olympics later this year,” Sam concluded.
According to TimesLive, medalists from the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London were rewarded for their efforts with around $32,000 for gold‚ $16‚000 for silver and $6,400 for bronze. The amount was split with 80 percent of the funds going to the athletes and 20 percent to their coaches.