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Cash cuts leave sports short and struggling

Fundraising: junior squash players camp out at their club during this year's squash-a-thon

Bermuda’s sports organisations are having to find new ways to fill large gaps in their funding after some of their budgets were reduced by more than 80 per cent, or cut altogether.

Figures released after a Public Access to Information (Pati) request submitted to the Department for Youth, Sport and Recreation by The Royal Gazette show the true extent of belt-tightening in this year’s Budget.

Sports such as squash and basketball had their funding slashed by nearly 90 per cent compared to last year, while the associations governing athletics, swimming, tennis, gymnastics and equestrianism all lost more than 50 per cent.

Others faired even worse, with table tennis, rowing, volleyball, badminton, and golf, all receiving nothing for the 2015-2016 financial year.

According to Government figures, the Bermuda Squash Association dropped from $80,000 to just $10,000, basketball dipped from $25,000 to $3,000, and Bermuda National Athletics Association fell from $106,000 in 2014 to a grant of $40,000 this time around.

The two bodies that escaped largely unscathed were the Bermuda Olympic Association, which lost just $5,000 going down from $155,000 to 150,000, while the Bermuda Sports Anti-Doping Authority only had 0.4 per cent of its funding cut, falling from $753,188 to $750,000.

There was good news for some, however, with the National Sports Centre’s operational budget rising from $950,000 to $1 million, while the Kappa Alpha PSI Fraternity Inc had its sponsorship grant doubled from $5,000 to $10,000.

However, for those left with large shortfalls, finding the money to continue to run after school programmes, training courses, and events, has proved to be a constant battle.

Patrick Foster, the director of squash, said his association had turned to bake sales, car washes, corporate fundraisers, and parental contributions in order to overcome the loss of $70,000. A loss that the association were only made fully aware of after their year’s programme had started.

Further complicating matters for squash, and the rest of the Island’s sports governing bodies, is the fact that applications for next year’s funding have to be submitted by the end of the month.

“I understand that there have to be savings, I think everybody does,” Foster said. “We’ve just had to dig in to try and maintain what we’ve got. Our take on it as an association, and as a club, was to effectively suck it up and say ‘right, we need to find ways to make this work’.”

That attitude has already enabled the association to raise nearly $20,000, with match-funding from companies such as OIL Management helping towards that total. Still, the club’s junior players have raised the majority of that, some $15,0000, through their annual squash-a-thon, where they play overnight, while camping out at the club.

Initially used to help fund international trips, and the national teams, this year the money raised is being used to prop up the youth clubs and after school programmes.

“It’s not really about high performance here,” Foster said. “It’s about keeping schools coming in, it’s about our boys and girls youth clubs, making sure we’re full of kids on a Saturday, and that’s what our programme costs mainly go towards.

“For the pinnacle of our programme we tend to get [corporate] financial support and parents help to pay for the kids to travel to international events, but that’s the smaller part of what we do.”

<p>Sports Grants</p>

2014 2015

1 Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association $$85,000 $40,000

2 Bermuda Badminton Association $6,000 $0

3 Bermuda Basketball Association $25,000 $3,000

4 Bermuda Bicycle Association $30,000 $25,000

5 Bermuda Cricket Board $213,300 $100,000

6 Bermuda Equestrian Federation $32,000 $10,000

7 Bermuda Football Association $401,700 $350,000

8 Bermuda Golf Association $30,000 $0

9 Bermuda Gymnastics Association $35,000 $15,000

10 Bermuda Hockey Federation $35,000 $25,000

11 Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association $26,976 $10,000

12 Bermuda National Athletics Association $106,000 $40,000

13 Bermuda Netball Association $20,000 $7,500

14 Bermuda Rowing Association $8,000 $0

15 Bermuda Squash Racquets Association $80,000 $10,000

16 Bermuda Table Tennis Association $5,000 $0

17 Bermuda Triathlon Association $24,000 $10,000

18 Bermuda Volleyball Association $15,000 $0

19 Bermuda Power Boat Association $10,000 $0

20 Bermuda Olympic Association $155,000 $150,000

21 Bermuda Sailing Association $30,000 $10,000

22 Bermuda Sport Anti Doping Authority $753,188 $750,000

Special Grant requests

1 Windreach $12,000 $0

2 Bermuda Paralympics Association $10,000 $0


1 Bermuda Netball Association - NJSP $2,800 $0

2 Bermuda Junior Golf Association- NJSP $3,540 $0

3 Bermuda Football Association- NJSP $5,200 $4,512

4 Bermuda Triathlon Association- NJSP $3,749 $5,650

5 Bermuda Bicycle Association- NJSP $1,655 $3,805

6 Bermuda Basketball Association- NJSP $5,000 $4,640

8 Bermuda Cricket Board of Control- NJSP $4,375 $6,108

9 Bermuda Baseball Federation- NJSP $3,475 $4,580

10 Bermuda Equestrian Federation- NJSP $6,056 $4,040

11 Bermuda Hockey Association- NJSP $3,295 $2,640

12 Bermuda Squash Racquets Association - NJSP $1,885 $3,660

13 Bermuda National Athletics Association- NJSP $4,252 $2,978

14 Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association- NJSP $4,693 $0

15 Bermuda Sailing Association $0 $5,045

16 Bermuda Fencing Association $0 $2,374

Contributions GRANTED

1 YSR Swimming Programme $25,000 $25,000

2 Bermuda Cricket Board of Control - ST. David’s Cricket Club $1,000 $0

3 National Sports Centre - OPERATIONAL $950,000 $1,000,000

4 Bermuda Pacers Track Club - Relay Classic Sponsorship $5,000 $0

5 Somerset Cricket Club - Cup Match Ads $1,250 $0

6 Port Royal Golf Course- YSR Golf Team $300 $0

7 Teen Services - Teen Awards Sponsorship $1,500 $3,500

8 Bermuda Summer Pool League - Sponsorship $5,000 $0

9 Gerry Swan – for Shaquille Dill - Commonwealth Games Prep $10,000 $0

10 Devina K. Butterfield – for Taahira Butterfield - Track Sponsorship $3,200 $4,200

11 Kappa Alpha PSI Fraternity Inc - Jr. Football Tournament Sponsor $5,000 $10,000

12 Gino Productions - CUP MATCH Ad $3,500 $0