The preparations of the South African Sports Federation and the Olympic Committee (SASCOC) for Tokyo 2020 were driven forward by the signing of a sponsorship agreement with Planet Fitness.
Planet Fitness will give more than 260 South African athletes access to its clubs across the country so they can train together and individually in facilities near where they live.
The clubs are referred to as “official training facilities for Olympic teams” within the framework of the agreement.
The SASCOC said the deal, valued at around R 15 million (£ 724,000 / US $ 998,000 / EUR 844,000), will also save the cost of transporting athletes to its high-performance center in Gauteng.
“We are pleased to welcome aboard the strength and national footprint of Planet Fitness and Fit SA’s commitment to Team South Africa, the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Movement, the Commonwealth Games Movement and the sports associations in South Africa as a whole”, said SASCOC President Barry Hendricks.
South African athletes will benefit from improved access to training facilities ahead of Tokyo 2020 © Getty Images
“Without such partnerships, our job of producing sports champions would be much more difficult.
“This sponsorship partnership has provided our country’s Olympians, Paralympians, and Commonwealth athletes with a wonderful opportunity to train for free at world-class gyms across the country.
“It underlines our commitment with our partners, our athletes and our associations to provide valuable services and to support them in their growth and development.”
Planet Fitness CEO Mannee de Wet also welcomed the agreement.
“On days like these, it is necessary to unite South Africa through the success of Team South Africa and we stand right behind our athletes – proud to be designated the official training facility for Olympic teams,” said De Wet.