Taiwanese breakers who are competing at the World DanceSport Federation’s World Breaking Championship in France should have received public funding to travel, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Mark Ho (何志偉) said yesterday.
The event is to take place in Paris on Saturday and Sunday.
Ho told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan co-hosted by the Chinese Taipei Dance Sport Federation that after the federation asked for his help, he raised NT$200,000 to help pay for the team’s stay at quarantine hotels in Paris for two days.
While Sports Administration policies allow for reimbursements after a competition, the upfront costs are beyond what could be reasonably expected of the athletes at the championships, he said.
Three university students and a conscript on active military service make up Taiwan’s breaking team, he said, adding that they practice in their personal time.
Lee Yi-fu (李奕釜), chairman of the federation’s breaking committee, said that the process of applying for reimbursements has been plagued by delays and red tape.
Liu Chih-chiang (劉志強), deputy chairman of the committee, said that the breakers “are dealing with enough stress as it is and should not be troubled with working part-time to pay for the trip.”
The agency should pay at least 50 percent of their travel costs up front, Liu said.
A Sports Administration spokesman said that the agency would strive to improve support for dance sports athletes.
When asked whether former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Shen Chih-hwei’s (沈智慧) federation has contributed to the event, the spokesman said that their two sports entities are not affiliated.
“Shen is more than welcome to help, but our understanding is that the problem stems from the wait time for reimbursements,” he said.
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