Award-winning swimmng star, Roland Schoeman, has his eyes set on being the first five-time South African Olympian, but the athlete needs to raise funds to go to this year’s tournament and has turned to crowdfunding for help.
Schoeman, who first won gold at the Olympics in 2004, wants to represent South Africa at the Rio Olympics in Brazil in August. However, he’s not been able to secure the necessary financial support to cover swimming expenses including coaches, facilities, travel and competitions.
The swimmer started a GoFundMe campaign recently to raise $50 000 (over R759 000) in four months, which is not an easy feat.
“If I cannot raise the necessary funds myself, I am in danger of missing the Games. I need your help,” Schoeman wrote on the campaign page.
Schoeman is so determined to swim for his country, that he even turned down a $5 million offer to represent Qatar.
“Although based in America for training, I’ve never forgotten my roots,” he said…”My love for South Africa has remained constant throughout my career – the green and gold is everything to me.”
Support for South African athletes has become a contentious issue lately.
According to the Department of Sports and Recreation’s website, the department does not fund individual athletes, but funds national federations and their events, club development, and departmental programs.
Just last month, world record-breaking runner, Wayde van Niekerk, who became the first man in history to break 10s in a 100 metre race, was among a few local athletes who called for corporate South Africa to back more sportsmen and women.
Schoeman’s Rio Olympics campaign has so far raised $790 in nine days.[Source and image – GoFundMe]