Fri, Jul 22, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Tsai says will boost sports spending by 10% next year

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen, center front, and Taiwan’s Olympic delegation yesterday pose for a photograph at Kaohsiung’s National Sports Training Center prior to the delegation’s departure for Brazil to attend the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to increase the sports budget by at least 10 percent next year to boost the development of the local sports industry, as Taiwan’s Olympic team prepared to depart for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Speaking at a flag presentation ceremony at the National Sports Training Center in Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District (左營), Tsai said that the nation’s athletes and coaches participating in important international sports events are to fly in business class, starting with this year’s Olympic Games, to make sure that they are well-rested before the events.

“In the past, due to insufficient funds set aside for sports development, our athletes and coaches participating in overseas competitions often suffered from fatigue due to long journeys,” Tsai said.

In addition to a budget increase, Tsai said that the government would also step up its efforts to take care of athletes and coaches ,and encourage private enterprises to sponsor sports events.

We hope that the government’s sports budget, the Sports Administration’s Sports Development Fund and private funding for athletes will double in the next eight years, Tsai said.

Tsai said that a record high number of 59 Taiwanese athletes are to compete in 18 disciplines at the Olympics Games, which is to begin on Aug. 5 and run through Aug. 21.

“These figures are proof that the nation’s sports culture has improved,” Tsai said.

“With the nation’s increasing competitiveness on the global sports stage, coupled with young people’s growing willingness to become athletes, it is the government’s responsibility to provide greater support to the sports community and build a more friendly environment for sports,” Tsai said.

Tsai said that in an effort to take care of retired athletes, the government is drawing up policies to help athletes open a new chapter in their careers once they retire.

“The Ministry of Education’s Sports Administration is endeavoring to ensure better care for retired athletes in accordance with the National Sports Act (國民體育法),” Tsai said.

Tsai added that the administration also plans to increase the number of athletic coaches at schools by 300.

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