The legislature’s Education and Culture Committee yesterday again rejected rules governing the appropriation of the Sports Development Fund (運動發展基金) because lawmakers had doubts about the programs that the fund would subsidize.
A large part of the money for the fund came from profits gained from sports lottery tickets, which are sold by Taipei Fubon Bank. The Sports Affairs Council (SAC) oversees the operation.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers criticized SAC Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) over the council’s proposal, which was also rejected by the committee last month.
KMT Legislator Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛) said that Article 1 of the rules stated that the fund was created to “discover, train and take care of the athletes,” but that they did not explain what the SAC planned to do that with the fund. He also cited reports that a pitcher at the Jhuluoshan Softball Cup for Youth threw 19-and-two-third innings a day as an example of how young players were overused. The fund should be used to properly train athletes, he said.
Two other KMT legislators, Chiang Yi-hsiung (江義雄) and Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), cited the Chinese Taipei Student Baseball Federations — formed by baseball veterans, coaches, referees and advocates — as saying that some junior high baseball players did not know simple arithmetic such as addition and subtraction. Some of the high school players were even illiterate, they said, adding that there was a need for ethical education of young players.
Tai said the funds would be used for programs not covered by the SAC’s fiscal budget.
However, KMT legislators Huang Chih-hsiung (黃志雄) and Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) and DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said some of the programs financed by the fund are supposed to be subsidized by the fiscal budget.
“We want a system that ensures continual development of sports, one that will not change regardless of who is in charge,” Huang said, adding that the majority of the money should be spent on athletes while they are in school.
Kuan questioned Tai as to why the SAC spent NT$40 million (US$1.24 million) in the fund researching the distribution of sports lotteries, which should have been performed by Fubon.
After rejecting the proposed rules the committee said it would review them again after the council made changes.
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