Fri, Sep 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tsai, parties hail sports act amendment passage

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party legislators yesterday hold up placards at the legislature in Taipei.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wei (蔡英文) and officials from various political parties hailed the passage of amendments to the National Sports Act (國民體育法), and touted the move as a giant step forward for the development of athletes and enforcement of accountability and financial transparency of the sports governing bodies.

As the draft bill passed its third reading at the legislature, the New Power Party (NPP) and pro-Taiwanese identity groups lamented the loss of their fight to include an amendment changing the name of the “Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee” to the “National Olympic Committee.”

“Approval of the National Sports Act amendments is only the beginning. Our government has the determination to push reforms through... We would regret it if the act were not passed today,” Tsai said when receiving Taiwanese athletes who competed in the Taipei Summer Universiade yesterday afternoon.

“The purpose of the governing bodies are to help athletes, not to monopolize financial and material resources. We must reform organizations that do not take good care of athletes. These bodies will become more equitable for everyone, and will have more openness and accessibility to the public,” she said.

Tsai urged young people who are passionate about sports to join the governing bodies to “help establish a more sound and healthy system to support the development of athletes.”

The government is to also allocate NT$10 billion (US$331.1 million) toward developing sports over the next four years as part of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, of which NT$3.6 billion had already been committed for spending on sports from the second half of this year to the end of next year, she added.

“From now on, the sports governing bodies will abide by the law. They will be opened for public participation. We will be able to scrutinize their activities with more fairness and objectivity,” Sports Administration Director-General Lin Te-fu (林德福) said.

Regarding the decision not to replace “Chinese Taipei” with “National,” NPP Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said that the other parties — including the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) — chose to go with the version proposed by the People First Party, which retained the name.

“The amendment as agreed in the legislative committee included doing away with ‘Chinese Taipei,’ which DPP legislators and the Sports Administration had supported, but the final version did not make the change. As the ruling party, the DPP must give everyone an explanation,” Lim said.

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