Penza sports enthusiasts asked to “voluntarily” donate to school sports center for help
Penza, 24 August 2015. PenzaNews. A group of young adult sports enthusiasts who had met with difficulties trying to rent a hall in one of the Penza sports and recreation centers, did find an opening at the center “Chayka” by the school No. 74, but faced a request to make a financial donation instead of paying the rent amount.
“Unfortunately, this center does not offer any reserve hours, only matter-of-fact use. […] We managed to have some time to play last Thursday [August 20],” a Penza city resident Anton Savelyev informed PenzaNews agency.
According to the young man, his friends and he played in the sports hall for about 90 minutes. However, when they came to the reception area to pay for the services, the receptionist produced a “donation certificate” that said the money are given to the organization voluntarily.
“The receptionist told us an hour of service costs 700 rubles, so we need to pay 1,050 rubles for the time we used. We give away the money. He pulls out the donation certificate and says: write here you have no complaints and give away the money voluntarily,” the sports enthusiast described.
In her comment on the incident, Marina Avdonina, head of the Extracurricular Education and Tutorage Department of Penza city, explained to PenzaNews agency that the sports and recreation center “Chayka” may indeed accept donations.
“As the upkeep costs of the center is rather high, they offer the means to make completely voluntary donations. Nobody is forced to pay any money like that. […] If they would like to [play] regularly, they do need a rent agreement. And if they came and played just once, they may freely ignore any donation demands of this sort,” the speaker said.
As PenzaNews agency reported earlier, a group of young adults had been struggling to find a rent opportunity with one of the local sports and recreation center to play football for 2-3 hours a week within the period of 3 months, but to no avail.
According to sports enthusiasts themselves, the representatives of the sports centers were reluctant to contact them, and those who did demanded that they rent the hall for a longer term – no less than one year.
In a comment on the situation, Elena Obvintseva, state officer at the main office of the Penza city Education Department, explained there are no “yearly reserve plans” and the policies in the centers are managed by the schools they are attached to.
During an August 24 briefing session, Marina Avdonina, head of the Extracurricular Education and Tutorage Department of Penza city, explained that the availability of sports halls in recreation centers depends on their use for children during school and holiday months, and added that the school administration may sign contracts with people who seek to rent the halls for sports-related activities in the hours not taken by school-related programs.