GYMNASTS will have to pay for the honour of representing Spain following cuts to government subsidies.
The rhythmic gymnastics federation has been forced to turn to co-payment in order for its teams to be able to compete at an international level.
Although the federation is covering the travel expenses of top gymnast Carolina Rodríguez to the European Championships, her three teammates will have to cover their own costs.
Eugenia Onopko, Andrea Pozo, Natalia García and their mentors have been asked to shell out around €1,000 each in order to get the chance to represent their country at the competition in Vienna.
Gymnastics is not the first sport to turn to drastic measures in the face of funding cuts. The first sport to go public with co-payment was hockey, which implemented the funding system in lower categories, and various others have followed suit.
Austerity measures are biting, even in sport. In europe, the economy is going down, while in Africa, the economy is starting to shape up. Failing to sponsor the gymnasts shows that the country’s economy is back pedalling.