Sports policy: Leipzig IAT and Berlin FES receive more money

As of: October 18, 2023 7:56 p.m

Less is more: the Leipzig IAT Institute for Sport now receives more money from the federal government instead of less. Plans had previously been circulating that the budget for 2024 would be significantly reduced.

The intended budget cut at the Leipzig Institute for Applied Training Science (IAT) is off the table. Instead of less, there is now even more money, said Leipzig Bundestag member Paula Piechotta (Alliance 90/The Greens) Sports in the East on Wednesday (October 18, 2023).

According to this, the Bundestag’s budget committee will have increased the financial resources for the IAT and the Institute for Research and Development of Sports Equipment (FES) in Berlin by 5.4 million euros next year. Instead of the originally planned 17.2 million euros, 22.6 million euros will now flow to the institutes that make athletes and their equipment better. Actually, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for sport, had it Want to cut the budget by four million euros.

“Jobs secured for all employees”

The IAT should particularly continue its work in parasports, digitalization and competition analysis, said Piechotta. The member of the budget committee said: “This gives the IAT the much-needed planning security. In the 2024 Olympic year, it can continue its commitment as a beacon of sports science and an important pillar of top-class German sports, especially in the area of ​​parasports.” In addition, they are “Jobs secured for all employees”.

Dr Paula Piechotta sees the IAT as a “lighthouse in the 2024 Olympic year”.

Piechotta emphasized that this decision also sends a clear signal. “High-performance sport and its scientific support have broad political support.” In addition, there is still a need to strengthen para sports “There is a lot of room for improvement. We want to become more professional and achieve better performance”said Piechotta.

IAT director Löw: “Positive sign”

IAT director Marc-Oliver Löw spoke about one on MDR “positive signs”. People are grateful for the support, but they also want it “don’t overestimate”, after all, the process has not yet been completed. There is still a reconciliation meeting in November and the budget law will be passed in the Bundestag in December. Löw said that the budget increase meant that they were even “a little bit” more efficient because you can carry out planned projects, such as in para sports and datamanagement, could even expand. Nobody would have to be laid off and no sport would have to be given up.

IAT director Marc-Oliver Löw sees his institute being a bit more efficient than before if the budget is increased.

Budget draft: Four million euros should be lost

A budget draft by Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) had previously envisaged savings of four million euros. This would mean that the institutions would have lost 20 percent of their budget. This was all the more surprising because IAT and FES were equipped with more money in 2022 and 2023 than before. Therefore, new projects were started and a double-digit number of new employees were hired. 2.8 million should now be saved on the IAT.

“We are of course pleased about this positive sign. At the same time, we are very aware that actual planning security will only be available once the budget law has been passed in the Bundestag in December.”said IAT director Marc-Oliver Löw to the German Press Agency on Wednesday and also spoke on behalf of his FES counterpart Michael Nitsch.

Olympics in Beijing: 21 out of 27 Olympic medals

After the cuts plans became known, IAT and FES got involved an open letter addressed to the members of the Bundestag. The CEO of the German Olympic Sports Confederation, Torsten Burmester, also emphasized the importance of the two facilities. Olympic bobsleigh champion Francesco Friedrich (Oberbärenburg) was also disappointed with the plans and referred to other sports: “It’s not just about the bobsleighs, but also the speed skaters, the cyclists, the canoeists, the ski jumpers – all of which the FES is involved in.” In fact, IAT and FES have been directly involved in around three quarters of the recent Olympic medals won, most recently in 21 of 27 medals at the Winter Games in Beijing.

Bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich races down the track in an FES device, like here at the 2021 World Cup in Altenberg.