Sports business. When does a young athlete need the most support? “There are many gifted children who have to give up, and they don’t have the resources”

Poor infrastructure, as well as the high costs of playing sports such as tennis, for example, are major obstacles on the way for young athletes to perform. How can they be helped in the absence of a national strategy to support sports?

The lack of financial resources in sports translates into canceled opportunities for young people or untapped potential, is the finding that coaches, parents and children from the world of sport have. And sometimes the performance doesn’t bring sponsors, as in the case of Alexia Tatu, winner of the 2022 edition of one of tennis’ biggest tournaments, Wimbledon, in the U14 class.

Ziarul Financiar has launched an appeal for the top 1,000 companies to support 1,000 children or sports teams on their way to performance.

Coaches say, however, that support comes with difficulty and usually when an athlete is performing. However, the greatest need for support is around the age of 14-15.

“We will need at least 100,000 euros for the next year. We cooperate with whoever wants our interest, at the moment we have not signed with anyone. We have struggled with our forces so far, and this is what we have been able to achieve, as the whole country saw. If there was no Serious shepherd, we will continue to do our best. Even at Wimbledon I left without grass sneakers, I got a pair from there. Shouldn’t these children be appreciated?! She’s still young,” Alexia Tatu’s father, Leonard Tatu, told ZF.

Alexia is the champion of the 2022 edition of Wimbledon in the under-14 category, in the Romanian final of one of the most important tennis competitions, although she did not train on grass, especially for this tournament, due to the lack of it. Like this field in Romania. However, the result of the young athlete is not surprising to parents who have so far supported her in competitions.

“I don’t remember any tournament we’ve been in without being on the podium, we’ve had over 150 trophies in this seven-year period,” says Leonard Tato. The father of the young hero says that at the moment he supports her from a budget salary and from bank loans, but she needs support from sponsors.

The results attract attention

Brands like Dorna, Rexona, Banca Transilvania, Dedeman and Avon, but also giants like Nike, Wilson or Hublot are on the list of sponsors for Simona Halep. Internationally, companies “chase” the big players to be an image of the brands they represent.

However, at the local level, there is little support for the sport, either from the state or from companies, and parents or coaches go to the brands to receive support.

“I am one of those athletes who did not have very large family finances and had people who supported me when I was young, about 15. Companies rarely come to us, and it falls to me, mainly, to research and talk to people and show the athletes, the project, to encourage them to Invest in sports or to help wherever possible,” Victor Hanescu, one of Romania’s greatest tennis players, told ZF. He has the Victor Hensko Academy, where children go to learn their first steps in the world of tennis.

Mihaela Giano, coach at Tennis Club 2000, Sever Drone Academy, believes that if a tennis player can be supported with family efforts up to the age of 16, a sponsor would be needed to support the sporting activity.

“Such sponsorship is very rare, and the law is not so well established that those who can somehow help athletes are encouraged to do so. Parents should make some persistent efforts so that they can find sponsors to invest. Only the very good ones get it, but there are many Gifted children who have to give up because they don’t have enough time or haven’t reached the level where they can show their potential. Not having these resources cancels out their opportunities practically from the start,” said Mihaela Giwano.

She gave the example of a young woman studying at a college in the United States, children are encouraged to exercise and competitions are organized at the college level, where they can be noticed by investors. “If you’re not part of the first 100 athletes, you basically come with money from home to be able to participate in tournaments,” says Mihaela Giwano.

Inspirational investments

Distributor Macromex, one of the biggest players in the Romanian food industry in the frozen and chilled products segment, supports swimmer Robert Glenita from 2019 and David Popovici from 2021, who are two of the greatest young swimmers in Romania, with exceptional results in recent years.

“At Macromex, we emphasize sport and the benefits it provides us. Among our colleagues and even in the Macromex management, there are people who are passionate about the sport and even ex-athletes. The owner of Macromex himself is a swimmer and a former polo player. Therefore, our penchant for sports in general, and swimming in particular, It is no accident. We understand what performance sport means and we want Romania to be able to better utilize and support its talents, so that it performs better and better in national and international competitions,” according to a response sent by Macromex representatives.

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