Press Conference on the Programme of Work of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism
On 14 January 2016 at the Ministry of Sport and Tourism a press conference was held on the Ministry’s activities planned for 2016. The conference was attended by Prime Minister Beata Szydło, Minister of Sport and Tourism Witold Bańka, Minister Elżbieta Witek, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Sport and Tourism Jarosław Stawiarski, and Undersecretaries of State Dorota Dulińska and Ryszard Szuster.
For the first time ever, a head of the Polish government attended a press conference on the priorities of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. Prime Minister Beata Szydło emphasized that sporting success cannot be achieved without investing in children and youth. She also thanked all those involved in the development and implementation of the programme for sport. Minister Witold Bańka presented the Ministry’s priorities for 2016, which include: sport for children and youth, high performance sport, sport for persons with disabilities, legislative changes and the development of tourism.
In the field of children and youth sport, the Ministry plans to launch the Club programme of support for small and medium-sized sports clubs, which provides for co-funding, in the overall amount of at least 15 million zł, of sports trainers, training camps and purchase of sports equipment. A National Talent Database will also be developed in cooperation with the Warsaw University of Physical Education and the Ministry of Education. As a new standard in Polish schools, core fitness tests will be introduced. Their results will be entered into an IT system in order to facilitate identification of young talents.
Minister Witold Bańka announced the reactivation of the proven system of School Sports Clubs, thanks to which the third and fourth hours of physical education classes per week will become a reality in Polish schools. - The clubs will constitute one of the pillars of the coherent system of sports training – added Minister Bańka. The plan also provides for a return to the system of regional teams and the organization of Regional Youth Championships.
The Ministry of Sport and Tourism is going to launch a discussion on direct payment of sports grants to athletes, starting from January 2017. The number of athletes to receive the financial support is going to increase. Minister Bańka emphasized that this year, for the first time, the funds for athletes’ preparations for European Championships, World Championships and the Olympic Games were transferred by the Ministry at such an early date.
The state budget allocation to sport for persons with disabilities has been increased by 57%, from 5.2 million zł to 8.2 million zł in connection with the preparations for the Paralympic Games, Deaflympics, European Championships and World Championships. A division of competences between the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Sport and Tourism will also be carried out.
In the area of legislation, consultations will be held on amending the Act on Sport so as to allow the most popular non-Olympic sports associations to maintain the status of a Polish Sports Association. The objectives of the new Act on Tourism Services and of regulations on doping will also be determined.
In the field of tourism, it is planned to launch the Tourist Guarantee Fund as a measure of providing financial security in case of insolvency of travel agencies. The Ministry will also support the development of domestic tourism by setting up the programmes Poland at half price and Holidays in Poland. In addition, the Ministry is going to promote Poland through events such as the World Youth Days and the European Football Championship 2016 in France.