“Price storm” hits meals of national athletes

Published: 12/05/2011 05:00



The pay for cooking for
athletes of national sports teams will be increased to VND200,000
($10)/person/day for national teams and VND150,000/person/day for young teams.
The price storm has directly hit their meals.

Struggling with prices

“Pork and beef were
only VND60,000-70,000 ($3.3.5) per kilo, but now they are over VND100,000 ($5)
a kilo. 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
Center for Sports Training No. 1 in Hanoi.

Hung said that
because of the price storm, 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
center currently enjoy VND120,000 ($6) for meals per day. But Hung said that
this sum covers water, milk, fuel, etc. so the spending for food is not much.

has been applied for over two years, when everything was much cheaper than

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 ($12)/person/day (in training), and VND400,000 ($20)/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 told Tien Phong newspaper 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 Center 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. Vietnam
is still in difficult conditions so we cannot afford that but it must change

“I hope that
national sports teams will receive assistance from private and social
organizations. 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 to VND200,000/person/day for national teams and
VND150,000/day for young teams to prepare for the Southeast Asian Games 2011.


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