Sports Affairs Council to end as part of gov't restructuring
By Ann Yu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Sports Affairs Council (SAC) under the Executive Yuan will come to an end in 2013 after 15 years of existence, and will be reborn as the Sports Agency under the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Jan. 2.
December 30, 2012, 12:11 am TWN
Since its establishment in 1998, the SAC has had six different ministers. Controversies have surrounded the council with regard to its achievements.
Nancy Chao (趙麗雲), the SAC's first minister, said that it was regrettable that the council wasn't a better organization.
With regard to the council's restructuring, Chao said, “I believe this is a downsizing of the SAC. If it had performed well, we would not need to (place it under the MOE).”
Chao, however, described the MOE as “a wealthy father” who has the means to support his child. “The Sports Agency may have a better chance of doing something big,” she added.
During its 15 years of operation, the SAC has seen many achievements, including Taiwan's first two Olympic gold medals, as well as the establishment of the Super Basketball League, the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), and the Sports Lottery.
Deputy Minister Chen Yun-lien (陳雲蓮), who has served under the SAC since its inception, said that the important thing is “attitude” not “size.”
“The SAC's merger with the MOE means a combination of resources from schools and society in terms of sports. This could be better,” Chen said.
Current Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) also stressed that the council's reformation will make no difference if the attitude of its members remain positive. “It's just a different name. If we all work together, we will achieve bigger things in the future.”
Peng Tai-lin (彭台臨), a key SAC organizer behind the 2004 Athens Olympics in which Taiwan nailed its first two gold medals for Taekwondo, also said that the SAC's reorganization will not affect its function. “The most important thing is to have determination, goals, dreams and (methods of achieving dreams),” he said.
Cabinet Restructure in 2013
Recalling the 2004 Athens Olympics, Peng said that the Department of Competitive Athletics only had a budget of NT$700 million, while archery and taekwondo programs only accounted for NT$54 million.
“It's about attitude when it comes down to Taiwan's chances of claiming gold medals at the Olympics,” Peng added.
President Ma Ying-jeou recently announced the appointment of Administrative Vice Education Minister Chen Yi-hsing as political vice minister of the MOE. Chen will take office on Jan. 1.
The move to switch Chen's position indicates the Education Ministry's imminent incorporation of two new agencies which handle youth and sports affairs.
The president also relieved Tai and her two deputies, Chen Yun-lien and Chien Wei-jun (錢薇娟), of their positions.
In line with the Cabinet's restructuring, Ma also relieved National Youth Commission chief Chen Yi-chen of her position because the youth commission will also be reorganized as the Youth Development Agency under the MOE.
The Sports Agency and the Youth Development Agency will formally begin their operations following an inauguration ceremony slated for Jan. 2 at the MOE.