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The Minister of Sport ordered the return of PLN 1.4 million. For badminton picnics

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Minister Sławomir Nitras wants the Polish Badminton Association and the National Badminton Foundation associated with it to return over PLN 1.4 million from public funds. In an entry on X, Nitras wrote that “funds from the budget of the Ministry of Sports are used to popularize and support sports. They cannot be used in the election campaign of PiS politicians.”

Minister Sławomir Nitras questioned elements of the 2023 subsidy agreements with the Polish Badminton Association and the National Badminton Foundation for a total amount of PLN 1.4 million. “The settlement of the subsidy granted from the Fund for the Development of Physical Culture has been accepted partially. Amounts used by the beneficiaries contrary to their intended purpose or unused must be returned,” the ministry informs.

In an entry posted on X (formerly Twitter) by the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, it was stated that the disputed amount of PLN 1.4 million was to be returned by the above-mentioned institutions.

Campaign finance accusation

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Nitras wrote on the X website (formerly Twitter) that “funds from the budget of the Ministry of Sports are used to popularize and support sports. They cannot be used in the election campaign of PiS politicians. Therefore, the money must be returned to the state budget.”

Badminton picnics

At the end of summer 2023, from September to October, “Family Picnics with Badminton” were organized in Poland.

On the occasion of various other events, such as harvest festivals, potato festivals and gardening exhibitions, a badminton net and patron banners were set up. Including the then Minister of Sport and Tourism Kamil Bortniczuk.

It happened that the Picnic was organized on the occasion of the 800+ Family Picnic, which was intended to promote the increase in the amount of the benefit from PLN 500 to PLN 800.

Read also: Almost six million zlotys. KO MPs: this much was spent on PiS picnics from Poles' pockets

The last entry on the “Picnics with Badminton 2023” profile appeared on October 15, 2023.

Popularization of badminton

“Wirtualna Polska” wrote about the case. The portal claims, citing an informant, that a mechanism was created in which public money was first allocated to the development of badminton, and then part of this money was used for political events.

WP informs that it has asked the Polish Badminton Association about the situation. Its president, Marek Krajewski, stated that neither the association nor the Badminton National Foundation took part in co-financing the 800 plus picnics. They just organized their own “family picnics with badminton”.

“The aim of the Family Picnics with Badminton was to popularize an active lifestyle in the family, popularize and disseminate badminton, and initiate badminton classes in new locations,” the president of the association told WP. He added – as reported by WP – that the cost of organizing one picnic is PLN 5,000. This included “salaries for four people, transport, purchase of sports equipment, advertising materials, advertisements.” According to Krajewski, each such event was to be attended by 500 to 700 people.

Ministry of Sport and Tourism, Wirtualna Polska

Main photo source: PAP/Tomasz Waszczuk

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