|Sports Minister Joanna Mucha|
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Poland’s Sports Minister Joanna Mucha announced changes to the way state funding is allocated to national sports associations last week. The ministry has divided sports into several groups by their chance of success at the international level. The “gold” group (with the highest chance of success) comprises canoeing, cycling, rowing, sailing, skiing, swimming, track and field, weight lifting and wrestling. They’ll receive 56 percent of state funds for high-level sports.
Most of the sports associations will receive less money from the ministry. Some of the non-Olympic disciplines, such as fishing and snooker, are set to lose all government funding by 2014.
Minister Mucha announced that future government subsidies will be based on results, and that sports that do not have a plan for developing youth talent will see their funding slashed.
A statement on the sports ministry’s website reads, “After summarizing the Olympic Games in London, it turned out that the Polish team had one of the weakest teams in terms of medal achievements. ... Once again, a large part of the Polish team was eliminated [in the first rounds] of a sport.”
Ms Mucha went on to say, “Polish taxpayers should not fund sports associations that do not train young people, that do not have a team in any of the junior categories, have no promising young players, or do not prepare a credible plan for training.”
The move looks to be long overdue as Poland had a miserable 2012 in terms of sporting achievements. Euro 2012 proved a roaring success, but this was in spite of the Polish team’s poor showing on the pitch, as they failed to get past the group stage. Meanwhile, Poland’s Olympic team managed to get just two gold medals in London, and won a mere 10 medals total, leaving it in 30th place in the final medal standings.
In 2013 the ministry of sport will spend zł.175 million on high-level sports.
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