Sun, Apr 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Athletes, lawmakers unite to demand sports reforms

FOR TAIWANSport shooter Lin Yi-chun said she quit the national team to help reform sporting institutions, but over the past six months she has not seen any changes

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Olympic athletes Lu Yen-hsun (盧彥勳) and Lin Yi-chun (林怡君) were joined by legislators on Friday at the launch of a campaign asking for public support for reforming sports governing bodies and call for the legislature to approve amendments to the National Sports Act (國民體育法).

“Taiwan’s top athletes have come forward to help start this campaign to push for reforms to the nation’s sports bodies. We need public support to demand openness, transparency and accountability in national sports endeavors,” Lu said.

“We are not here to create division in society, but to stand together with the public. By implementing changes and reforms, we can create a better sports environment for the next generation of Taiwanese athletes,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Party legislators Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) and Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and New Power Party legislators Freddy Lim (林昶佐) and Kawlo Iyun Pacidal attended the launch.

Lu said they had invited World No. 1 badminton player Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) to launch the campaign, but she had already committed to playing at a tournament and could not attend the event.

“Tai took part in an earlier petition campaign and she has given her support to this campaign too,” Lu said.

The group launched a Web site, www.votionary.com/FGT/, where legislators, officials and the public can sign a petition to press for the passing of amendments to the National Sports Act, which is has stalled in the legislature.

Among the groups’ demands are a request to open sporting bodies financial records to scrutiny; the establishment of a third-party body to scrutinize the finance and management of sporting bodies; a set number of current or retired athletes who can occupy executive or board member positions in government sports bodies; removal of restrictions on membership and for elections to be held for all sports bodies within six months of passing the amendments.

Lin said she quit the national team last year with the hopes of building better training facilities and establishing a better coaching selection system.

“However, in this past six months I have not seen any improvements. So I decided to come forward and demand reforms,” she said.

“I want a better environment for athletes. I have won medals at Asian Games, but I want to continue my career and win an Olympic medal for Taiwan,” she added.

Lim said deliberations on amendments to the National Sports Act have been included in the current legislative session, and he has heard the requests and aspirations of these athletes and would fight for transparency and financial accountability for sporting bodies, and to make Taiwan more competitive at international competitions.

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