“Many sports clubs have been weakened by the crisis because they have not previously been able to make sufficient investments for greater energy efficiency and increased sustainability”, says the Flemish Sports Minister, Ben Weyts (N-VA). “We must take advantage of this crisis to make structural improvements for sports clubs.”
The minister therefore announces that 50 million euros will be released for loans that give sports clubs the opportunity to implement structural measures. “Sports clubs or federations will be able to borrow up to 1 million euros – at an interest rate of one percent – for investments that allow them to save energy. On the other hand, we will set aside 3 million euros to help sports clubs that already are struggling to pay their rising energy bills”.
A survey carried out at the end of September by the Flemish Sports Federation revealed that almost half of the sports clubs are experiencing a loss of income or have to dip into their financial reserves due to the increase in gas and electricity prices. “We appreciate the support that Minister Weyts is offering sports clubs to help them get through this crisis, both in the short and long term,” responded Koen Umans, president of the Flemish Sports Federation.
“Direct financial support is welcome, but we are well aware that it is not enough to fully offset rising energy bills. We therefore advise sports clubs to make use of emergency loans as far as possible, which can serve as leverage to invest sustainably in energy-saving projects”, added Koen Umans.