Fiji National Sports Commission Issues Stern Warning To Sporting Bodies

Good governance, accountability the most important issues - Peter Mazey
11 Jun 2019 16:26
Fiji National Sports Commission Issues Stern Warning To Sporting Bodies
Fiji National Sports Commission executive chairman Peter Mazey.

The Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) says it will first scrutinise the achievements of sporting bodies from previous Government grants before giving out more money.

More than $12 million in funding was allocated for sporting activities in Government’s 2019/2020 National Budget announcement last Friday.

From the funds, $650,000 will go towards the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign, while $2.1m is for the men’s and women’s 7s teams.

Commission executive chairman Peter Mazey says that in distributing the funds, athletes and teams that were medal prospects in major world events such as the Olympic Games would be prioritised.

However, Mazey said that increasing the participation of women in sports and ensuring minor sports received adequate funding commensurate to their development needs will also be paramount.

“We must begin to accept that our athletes can and are reaching international times and standards and therefore we won’t necessarily just send a team or athletes (to a world event) on wild card entries granted to a region,” he said.

Prior to 2012, Government funding for sports averaged approximately $800,000 a year.

Since then, it has increased to over $10m per annum in recognition of sports as an important national activity with health and economic benefits.

“Nothing could be achieved without the support of Government and the benefits of well-funded sports are showing, especially in the areas of participation at all ages and in nation-building through the pride we all have in our successes,” Mazey said.

The breakdown of this year’s sports allocation includes:

  • Fiji National Sports Commission ($970,465)
  • Engagement of international coaches ($1.65m)
  • Overseas sports tournaments ($4.1m)
  • Hosting international tournaments ($3.1m)
  • 2019 Oceania men’s and women’s rugby 7s tournament ($1.5m)
  • Engaging short-term experts ($150,000)
  • Sports outreach programmes ($200,00)
  • Sports scholarships ($150,000)
  • Fiji Boxing Commission ($50,000)
  • Sports grants for persons living with disabilities ($100,000)
  • Develop sporting fields in rural schools ($400,000)
  • Funds the construction of rural sporting complexes in Kadavu ($500,000)

Given the increasing amount of public funds being spent on sports, Mazey believes accountability and good governance within sporting bodies have become “the most important issues.”

“It must be noted that every sports organisation has ensured they follow their own laws as per their constitutions and articles and now they do this. Without having good governance, they are not eligible for Government or international funding,” he added.

The commission’s operational grant decreased by some $30,000 in the latest budget – which Mazey says will not affect its operations.

“Currently all divisions and staff are re-looking at operations and have made budgeted changes to reflect the reduction,” he added.

“This however has meant we are working smarter and have also identified sponsorship due to the new benefit available to sponsors who contribute over $15,000 in cash.”

Edited by Osea Bola

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