Sunday, 27 September 2009

Vicious circle - financial support for topsporters

Over the last few days I have been at the Forexx Women's world squash championships in Amsterdam, voluntarily doing video interviews for a fellow website run by Nicol David number one in the world. You can view the videos on their YouTube channel

During the course of my chats and interviews, it has come to my attention that there is a viscious circle created in the financing of topsporters in Holland by the NOC NSF Olypmics association, which is not wholly supportive of the players that actually need the most help.

The current situation means that you can only get NOC NSF/topsporter status if you fall into the top 4 or 8 in the world. This excludes the rising stars. However if you earn too much money over a certain threshold, you are also excluded from the financial support of the NOC NSF. So if you are top in the world, you are winning tournaments so you may actually earn over the threshold and therefore by being too good, you dequalify yourself from the right to have financial support from the Olympics association.

Effectively they have created a viscious circle, you have to be very good, but not too good to get support. What about all those that fall into the most needed category, not quite in the top 10 in the world, but could be with more time to practice and more support could make it. Effectively unless that category have financial support from other means, ie from friends, family, or if they are lucky a sponsor, they have little chance of reaching the top 10. Should financial support from the NOC NSF be means tested like with university grants?

So again, it boils down to the topsporter needing the right support network, beyond the support or lack of support of their national olympics association to succeed. This was one of the many reasons I created to aid sporters with developing a sport network.