Monday, 10 December 2018

Sports associations want more money for sport grounds

ČTK |
11 April 2018

Prague, April 10 (CTK) - Representatives of sport associations and leagues demand that the government allocate more money for the construction and development of sport grounds whose current state is neglected and untenable, the chairman of the Czech Sports Union (CUS), Miroslav Jansta, told journalists on Tuesday.

Jansta said the Education Ministry, which is was in charge of sport, had not an efficient subsidy programme for the development of sport grounds this year.

In reaction to him, Deputy Education Minister Karel Kovar said the ministry is seeking a way to coordinate support for sport facilities.

Jansta said the average age of sport grounds and complexes is 48 years. Roughly 90 percent were built before 1989.

"They are worn out," Jansta said.

Roughly one billion crowns should be spent on their annual maintenance, preferably by means of an independent subsidy programme like in the past. Further money should be provided by the state for the construction of new sport complexes, he added.

This year, the ministry replaced its former programme for the maintenance of sport grounds by the new programme My Club. However, it is not rightly set, Jansta said.

The clubs which do not work with the youth cannot be eligible for it, he added.

In addition, the money from the new programme is spent not only on the maintenance and operation of sport grounds, but also on organisation in sport clubs, Jansta said.

Kovar said the ministry has increased its support for sport clubs to 1.2 billion crowns in 2018, up from last year's 693 million. Until 2016, the annual support of sport clubs was some 150 million crowns, he said.

He said the costs of the operation and maintenance of outdated infrastructure are excessive and the ministry's subsidies only soften the impact of former insufficient investments.

"We are seeking a way, also in cooperation with the self-rule regions and municipalities, to coordinate the support for sport facilities' operation," Kovar said.

According to the Education Ministry, the total sum of subsidies demanded within the My Club programme amount to around 2.2 billion crowns.

The associations that have applied for it associate 575,127 members aged six to 23.

The Association of Czech Sports Leagues says there is no concept of construction and development of sport grounds.

"Their distribution is uneven, in some regions there are sufficient quality sport grounds, but in others, there are few of them or they are in a bad state," its chairman Zdenek Ertl said.

The state should ensure the conditions not only for top athletes, but also for all the rest, he added.

Jansta said representatives of the 15 biggest sport associations were going to submit a draft investment plan to PM Andrej Babis by the end of April, believing that the government would earmark money for it and push through the relevant legislation.

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