Although tennis has returned to the spotlight in recent years with the results of Romanian athletes who have won the biggest competitions, the path to similar results is not an easy one.
♦ The authorities, athletes and parents who take their children to training spoke in unison about the fact that tennis is an expensive sport in Romania. ♦ What solutions are available to young athletes? Private financing comes the common answer.
Although tennis has returned to the spotlight in recent years with the results of Romanian athletes who have won the biggest competitions, the path to similar results is not an easy one. Parents are the first to find out when they add up the costs paid for training a child, which are not covered by the Romanian state in any way.
“Help from the state is zero. We have appealed to the Romanian state, our child is eligible for various sports scholarships, the infrastructure provided, we have only come to closed doors. I said that the only chance to be able to continue working is to find support in the private sector. If he does not have some prospects Amazing in this sport, which tennis coaches told us about, we will not worry, but the duty of our parents”, says Yuno Polay, father of Eva Polay, a young tennis player, No. 1 in the Romanian Tennis Federation (FRT) classification in his age group (U10).
Eva has been playing tennis for five years, half her life, and it is the only sport she enjoys and experiences. The monthly cost for parents to increase their sports performance ranges from 13,000 lei to 18,000 lei, depending on the number of tournaments they play in a month.
And the importance of experience for young tennis players was also mentioned by George Cusack, President of the Romanian Tennis Federation (FRT).
“In tennis, you have to start at 6-7 years old to get to perform. At 15, he’s young. It’s very difficult for any club to support the development of an athlete from 6 to 12-14 because you don’t have a perspective. That is The reason is that parents are the ones who invest 90-95%,” according to George Cusack.
When asked directly if it is possible to lose athletes due to lack of funding, the Minister of Sports, Edward Novak, who is also an athlete, said that this certainly happens, especially in rural areas, for example.
He added, “At the ministry level, we are laying the foundations for the sports camp program that will start this summer. We will introduce children from all over the country to various sports. We want to organize these violations through the National Sports Strategy, and help children more,” Edward Novak also said.
Funding is the main problem
When asked why tennis players are not being helped financially, the sports minister has sent the responsibility to the FRT, which is complaining about the poor funding it receives from the ministry.
“The ministry is directly involved when the level of performance of athletes becomes in the national interest. Otherwise, on the way to this level, the responsibility lies with the clubs and federations. The federations have the role of organizing sports activity in their branch and organizing and facilitating the participation of athletes from groups in competitions,” said Edward Novak. Official International Sports.
On the other hand, George Cusack says that out of the 1.6 million lei for the FRT budget in 2022, the utilities costs for the federation’s infrastructure were not covered either.
“This year we asked for a budget of 16 million lei, and we received 1.6 million lei, which is 10%.
From the ITF analysis, the conclusion was that a young person aged 15-18 needs €60,000-80,000 per year to have a customized competitive calendar,” says George Cusack.
The only solution – the private sector
Ionot Polay tries to find funding for his daughter to continue playing tennis among private companies that can sponsor the girl’s journey.
“Last fall we were unable to participate in two tournaments in the country due to lack of funding. Our only hope is from the private sector. We have contacted academies abroad and are waiting for some answers to see who would be willing to see them. We are considering the option of leaving the country, and any form of support offered For a child it is an opportunity for us to give him a chance,” Yuno Bulai said.
The Minister of Sports also talked about private financing, saying that the state should support sports, but there is no way for it to finance all activities in this field at the national level.
“For this we need the special environment. We need to create in sports law the possibility for entrepreneurs to support sports activity, not just for performance, but for everyone,” said Edward Novak.