SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – “I would like to inform the public that my proposal to allocate one cent per liter of gasoline and diesel to the benefit of sports has been approved by the Council of Ministers,” Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Rodolphe Samuel said.
“I have requested funding via the capital expenditure budget of the country for repairs to sports facilities, but because of a deficit budget, this has become very challenging.
“I have also been informed that repairs to the facilities will take place via the NRPB / Trust fund, but this too will take some time before it happens.
“We need to do something now. We cannot wait for the next 3 to 5 years. Our athletes need attention now. Sint Maarten is also in need of a Multifunction sports stadium. One in which we can do a different type of sports.
“Getting the money to build such a stadium and also repair and maintain our current sports facilities is a challenge.
“We have talent in all areas of sport, and the development of our athletes will get attention once we have the money to attend to their development.
“The government is working on lowering the price of gasoline substantially, and when this takes place, the one guilder cent per liter of gasoline and diesel will be instituted. The money generated will go towards sports development in general. The money will not go into the general coffers of the government. The funds will be earmarked directly for sports. The idea is to make this a permanent structural funding for sports in Sint Maarten
“In Curacao and Aruba, they have the concept of a sports lottery which has raised a lot of funds for sports.
“The once cent per liter idea is something similar to that of the other Islands, and the entire community will contribute, including visitors, through the use of gasoline and or diesel.
“Sports tournaments will bring people to the Island, and this will be good for our economy. We have talked about diversifying the economy of Sint Maarten. Sports tourism can do that. We can diversify with sports.
“Especially in the offseason. I would like to thank my colleagues for their support in this effort. This is something good for all of Sint Maarten. Our youths will definitely benefit. I Thank you,” Minister Hon. Rodolphe Samuel concluded.