Sports & Entertainment » Sports
Spread price hikes hit meals of national athletes
  • | VietnamNet | May 13, 2011 11:48 PM

The pay for food for athletes of national sports teams will be increased to VND200,000 (USD9.66)/person/day for national teams and VND150,000 (USD7.24)/person/day for young teams. The spread price hikes have directly hit their meals.

Struggling with prices

“Pork and beef were only VND60,000-70,000 (USD2.89-3.38) per kilogramme, but now they are over VND100,000 (USD4.83) a kilogramme. It is lucky that we buy food through wholesalers, so the prices are a little cheaper than in the market. We cannot cut down food for athletes,” said Nguyen Manh Hung, director of the National Centre for Sports Training No. 1 in Hanoi.

Hung said that because of the price hike, the milk ration for athletes has reduced from 4-5 cans a day to 2-3 cans a day. He worried that the health and records of athletes may be affected.

Athletes at the centre currently enjoy VND120,000 (USD5.79) for meals per day. But Hung said that this sum covers water, milk, fuel, etc. so the spending for food is not much.

VND120,000/athlete/day has been applied for over two years, when everything was much cheaper than present.

An anonymous athlete said that his food ration, from milk to fruit, has been cut down. He said he did not want to eat, especially in this hot weather in Hanoi.

To “save” athletes, the General Department of Sports and Physical Training has asked relevant agencies to increase the pay for food for athletes of national teams to VND240,000 (USD11.59)/person/day (in training), and VND400,000 (USD19.23)/person/day (in competition). However, the petition has not been approved.

Athletes need more than food

According a decision issued in 2008 by the Government, elite sport athletes are not only provided with sufficient food but also functional food. However, the head of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, Vuong Bich Thang recently said that athletes are just supplied with food, not functional food. It is difficult to sufficient provide them with food, let alone functional food.

Director of the National Centre for Sports Training No. 1, Nguyen Manh Hung added: “In developed countries, athletes eat at demand, not based on set pay. Depending on the characteristics of each sport, the best athletes have their own doctors and coaches. Due to difficult economic conditions, we cannot afford that but it must change sometimes”.

“I hope that national sports teams will receive assistance from private and social organisations. In this condition, the state budget for sports teams is not enough,” Hung said.

The chief of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, Vuong Bich Thang said that it is difficult to raise spending for food for athletes because the state budget allocation is limited.

“We have asked the Ministry of Finance to raise budget allocation for athlete’s food and they agreed with us but for some reasons, it cannot increase right now,” Thang said.

He also said that previously, the pay for food for athletes only increased three months after they participate in competitions. He said that in May, the pay for food will increase from VND120,000 (USD5.81) to VND200,000 (USD9.7)/person/day for national teams and VND150,000/day for young teams to prepare for the Southeast Asian Games 2011.

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