Romanian Gymnastics Federation asks for sponsorship for team qualified for Olympic Games
The Romanian Gymnastics Federation is asking for sponsorships for the national artistic gymnastics team, which qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after competing in the artistic gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp.
Romania's women's team concluded the qualifications of the World Championships in Antwerp in the tenth position, securing their presence at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. The team returns to the Olympic competition after a 12-year hiatus. China, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea also qualified for Paris, according to GSP.
“The athletes and their coaches have shown exemplary determination, passion, and a desire for self-improvement, all under training and recovery conditions below those of their opponents in the world elite. It is a collective effort, and it is time for all of us to come together and support our gymnasts on their journey to the Olympic Games, Paris, 2024,” said the Romanian Gymnastics Federation in a Facebook post.
Romania’s team was the youngest in the World Championships in Antwerp.
“It is a collective effort, and it is time for all of us to come together and support our gymnasts on their journey to the Olympic Games, Paris, 2024! Through the 20% mechanism, companies can contribute to the success of Romanian athletes, and the entire amount is tax-deductible," the federation said.
Funds from companies are needed because, according to the president of the Gymnastics Federation, Carmencita Constantin, the financial situation in this pre-Olympic year is critical. The Federation faces significant shortcomings and cannot prepare its athletes as required.
The head of Romanian gymnastics told Euronews Romania that, apart from the insufficient budget, there are no proper training facilities or compliant equipment. She has therefore called for sponsorships or donations, as the Federation needs EUR 2 million by next year.
“There is a government contribution, it is not enough, and if you want to achieve a goal, you need more. Fortunately, we have a mechanism. It can be much improved, but we don't have time now; we need it today, tomorrow, and in the long term. Since I took office in 2019, the budget has been RON 7-7.5 million each year, the ANS budget, on which we build training programs. It is supplemented by contributions for Olympic athletes by the other fundamental partner, COSR. [...] At least in the last 4 years, except for the year 2020, the one with the pandemic, [this one] has the smallest budget, 6.35 million. About 4.2 million more have come from the other source until now. They are not enough, not only for the actual training part, because we want Olympic results. We want Olympic results from a generation that grew up and trained in infrastructure incomparable to those of the countries we compete with,” Constantin told Euronews.
On the other hand, the president of the National Sports Agency, Elisabeta Lipă, suggests a different perspective.
"From my point of view, this reaction from the Romanian Gymnastics Federation, or FRG, led by President Carmencita, is very sad, considering that this federation has the third [largest] budget received from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, namely the National Sports Agency. This budget is around RON 6.5 million. The Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee finances the FRG with about RON 4 million. The Champions' House Foundation started a project in 2014 and finances the athletes who qualified for the Olympic Games; five of them are part of the project. In the situation where the FRG returned money to the foundation, around RON 250,000 about 2 months ago, and announced that, in the next period, it will return about RON 150,000 to the foundation, what is your opinion? Is it necessary to complain? [...] No one says it's abnormal to seek sponsors, but not in this way, Madam President, to complain as if major companies are the only solutions for the FRG to achieve performance,” she said.
According to the head of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation, the gymnastics teams need RON 10 million (EUR 2 million) to be able to compete at the highest level. Selection, training of coaches, and the purchase of equipment would bring the sum to RON 16 million.
“We never had [that sum]; we supplemented them with the support of partners, whom I thank. We managed to accumulate around 2-3 million lei from sponsors. Because we also have institutional partners, municipalities, starting two years ago, we organize all national competitions in partnerships with local authorities, which is a fantastic help," Carmencita Constantin said.
(Photo source: Federatia Romana de Gimnastica on Facebook)