Graham Hill, mentor to Chad le Clos and generations of South African national teamsters before him, is rolling out a series of videos that warn his country that it has to make changes in its approach to sport to avoid its talent draining away.
The coach is speaking in the wake of parting company with Le Clos after 14 years. In the first of two videos (watch them below) under the project title “The Hill”, he throws the debate out beyond the pool when he notes: “At the moment, I think we’ve fallen behind the rest of the world (leading swim nations). Our sports are slipping, our rankings are going down, our rugby, our football, our cricket, and now swimming: we’re not able to get our women up to the standards of the rest of the world. We’re going to lose our swimmers to the U.S. again.”
He concludes part two more in sadness than anger, the resolve and suggestions to come, perhaps when the series rolls on:
“The greatest swimming Olympian (from South Africa)” had come out of that environment “but now he’s gone and we need to take that responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”