Meeting to discuss state support of physical education and sport organizations

    High accomplishments should determine salaries and bonuses in sport industry. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he heard out a report about measures of state support for physical education and sport organizations on 17 November.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that it is needed to discuss the provision of state support to sport organizations once again.

    In his words, all the conditions for developing physical training and sport are being created in Belarus. A lot of money is poured into sport, including public funds. Attention is paid to problems relating to infrastructure development, the organization of sport events, and certainly salaries for specialists. Belarus president decree No. 191, which was signed on 15 April 2013, is meant to address these problems by specifying measures of support for physical training and sport organizations.

    The head of state was interested in learning whether the results the government expected when raising the considerable funds in rather complicated conditions had been achieved.

    “The decree has been in place for a year and a half. Today I’d like to hear an objective evaluation of its effectiveness judging by what life and practice tell us. Moreover, you have submitted more proposals to regulate legal relations in this field,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Arguments in favor of these proposals have to carry weight. I would like to hear these arguments today”.

    The President reminded about the basic principles for rendering state support to the sport industry, primarily competitive sport clubs. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that wasteful spending was not an option. In his words, it is necessary to help only those, who look for ways to earn money with their efforts. The President promised help to those, who work for the future, who try to finance the operation of their club, who seek development opportunities.

    Mandatory financing of the infrastructure and sports for children and teenagers by the clubs that receive state support is one of the key requirements of the decree. The President was convinced that without an effectively-built vertical club structure and without preparing a decent reserve it is impossible to secure lasting success in sports. Therefore, a lot of attention was paid to discussing the development of sports for children and teenagers during the report. The head of state gave instructions to thoroughly think about the mechanism to finance sport schools for children and the youth regardless of other matters. Raising the young generation of athletes is an important matter.

    “Sport results are the key. It is the results that should determine all the salaries, bonuses, and other kinds of remuneration,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Those, who show decent results, can count on support”.

    “Unfortunately, I get reports that not all the organizations are ready to work with future in mind. They prefer living for today,” stressed the head of state. “Such dependency attitudes will be suppressed most severely right up to the suspension of state support and the return of all the disbursed sums”.

    “I am often told that if we don’t support a certain club, that club may perish while the club’s kind of sport may die away,” remarked the President. “I say good riddance. I say it in public. We don’t want to finance amateurish sports. If you go in for sports, you have to produce results. And not just results. We need athletes to shape the mood of the society, bring glory to the state, and bolster the state prestige. We should support athletes like that as well as kids, because there will be no great ones without kids”.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said he wanted precise answers to how the presidential decree works, whether the relevant goals had been accomplished and what measures were being taken against the organizations that fail to fulfill the document. The President said it was necessary to evaluate the overall picture of state support for sport organizations and the designated use of state support.

    “I would like to draw attention to the reception of money by sport organizations from international and foreign sources. I’d like to know how the money is used and for what real purposes,” said the head of state. “As you know, this kind of money has been tax-free until recently but then I gave instructions to stop the practice because everyone has to pay taxes. It is time to put things right in this area, too. I get reports that the relevant work is in progress”.

    The President reminded that when a stadium in Borisov was being built, BATE asked him several timed to exempt the club from taxes so that the club could allocate part of these funds in the construction project. “It makes sense. I promised them that if BATE show good results, the stadium will be built,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The President suggested revising and discussing all the issues in order to make an optimal decision. In particular, he said: “You understand that there is no spare money. And we do not need it. Money should be earned; there are all conditions for it. These terms should be toughened every year in order to prevent budget financing of commercial clubs. If there are result, we will promptly find resources in the budget to thank athletes or the organization”.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko supported initiatives of the government and public organizations to encourage sport clubs to earn money.

    The head of state gave an instruction to work out amendments to the decree to improve the mechanism of providing state support to physical education and sport organizations.