Dunne welcomes more financial support for sport as part of the budget – The Royal Gazette
Updated: March 02, 2022 2:23 PM
BOA Chairman Peter Dunne welcomed proposed increases to elite athlete support as part of budget statement
Peter Dunne, president of the Bermuda Olympic Association, welcomed the estimated increases in aid for elite athletes as part of the budget statement, but acknowledges the need to do more to protect sport at the global level. local level.
The grants and contributions section of the budget, presented Friday by David Burt, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, includes estimated increases, which have been projected in the majority of areas under the Department of Youth, Culture and Sport.
Of the overall total of $2.84 million for this year’s estimate – up from last year’s revised total estimate of $2.71 million – the largest increase was for the assistance to elite athletes, with an estimated total of $100,000 for the coming year, up from the revised estimate of $20,000 in the prior period.
The move is part of the government’s proposed National Sports Strategy policy, which aims to replicate the historic success of Flora’s Duffy’s Olympic gold medal by investing more in elite athletes.
This program was unveiled as part of the Speech from the Throne delivered by Rena Lalgie, the Governor, on behalf of the ruling Progressive Labor Party administration in November.
“Obviously any increase is a welcome relief and with the current economic climate as it is, this has to be seen as a solid win,” Dunne said.
He also thinks a proposed lottery initiative in Bermuda, to boost national sports strategy policy, might be feasible.
“Overall, the economy is not rosy and although sport is not a significant part of the overall budget, the fact that we seem to have made gains in the estimated totals, compared to other sections, should be well received by sports authorities.
“The crucial thing from the perspective of sports bodies and the BOA is that these funds are used properly to help athletes continue and achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
“I really think it’s possible [lottery initiative]. However, we are well aware that it requires a lot of work and structure to be in place. One thing remains clear, we must find alternative financing methods.
While Dunne welcomed the increase in financial assistance for elite athletes, he was quick to point out that greater attention was needed for the grassroots level of all sports, in order to to maintain a pathway for athletes to have the opportunity to reach a higher level. .
“There seems to be a perception that sport falls into two categories of social performance and high performance,” he added. “However, I don’t believe that is entirely accurate.
“We need to be able to provide significant funding for both because without grassroots sports you won’t have that athlete transition to high performance. There has to be that safe starting point.
“If you think you have another Flora Duffy as a possible needle in a haystack situation, well, we need a haystack first!
“You need to have an environment where athletes can be introduced to the sport and then developed, so that they have a chance to achieve excellence.
We need to focus more on the full sporting journey, from grassroots to elite level,” Dunne said.