Sporting children, running, athletics – illustrative photo.
Prague – The Czech Olympic Committee (ČOV) objected to the reduction of spending on sports, which is included in the draft state budget for next year. The executive committee stated in a press release that it fears a further decrease in children playing sports, which leads to a deterioration in the condition of not only the children, but ultimately the adult population as well. While this year the National Sports Agency (NSA) is distributing 6.75 billion crowns to sports, next year it should be only 5.2 billion.
The final version of the budget may be different, regularly in the summer it is the expenses of individual chapters. The WWTP reminded that two years ago, the NSA presented an increase in state spending on sports to more than 11 billion crowns, and according to the current government concept, one percent of spending should go to sports, which would correspond to more than 20 billion for the next year.
< p>“The Czech Olympic Committee is aware of the difficult situation in which the state budget is created. However, Czech sport and Czech children are also in a very difficult position, who, according to all available data and statistics, have lost their basic exercise habits during the past three years of covid restrictions and many have cut off their contacts with sports clubs and clubs,” said the WWTP.
State subsidies are the main source of income for sports clubs, which take care not only of training high-performance athletes, but also of the overall physical development of children. Obesity is becoming more and more common in this age group.
“According to the Ministry of Health, obesity among children worsened by 60 percent during the pandemic. This trend must be stopped. According to the National Health Strategy study, our state spends 132 billion annually for obesity treatment, which is the National Sports Agency's budget for 25 years. If we can put some of that money into sport, our children will be healthier. This is an issue we have to deal with every day, and especially now that sport is at risk of becoming unaffordable for low-income families,” said Jiří Kejval, president of the WWTP.
The WWTP emphasized that a positive attitude towards movement acquired in youth leads to an active lifestyle in adulthood. State support is also key for the maintenance of the age-old sports infrastructure and for the financing of the national team.
Next week, the Czech Sports Union also wants to address inadequate state support in the field of sports, according to the invitation to its general meeting. The government has not yet discussed the draft budget for 2024. She was planning to do it today, but postponed it until next week.