Subsidy for professor Vreugdenhil’s foundation temporarily suspended

Subsidy for professor Vreugdenhil’s foundation temporarily suspended

Foundation to investigate alleged involvement in abuse in basketball team

13-03-2024 · News

MAASTRICHT. The Elisabeth Strouven Fonds (ESF) has temporarily suspended a subsidy for the Your Coach Next Door (YCND) foundation from Maastricht professor and paediatrician Anita Vreugdenhil. The fund is “shocked” by reports in Trouw and De Limburger about abuse in basketball team Maastricht Rebels, in which Vreugdenhil and her foundation are allegedly involved. YCND itself is having an external investigation carried out.

The ESF, which financially supports social initiatives in Maastricht and surrounding areas, informed that their subsidy amounts to approximately 50,000 euro (of which 80 per cent has already been paid out). This subsidy is issued to fund a collaboration with the Maastricht Rebels, where basketball clinics are organised in the fight against obesity in children. YCND applied for this last year. A larger subsidy of 850,000 euro (divided over several years) for organising other “exercise activities for children” are not subject to discussion at the moment, an ESF spokesperson said.

The fund is concerned whether money is being spent properly. There are many questions about the financial links between YCND and the basketball team belonging to the British Mike Rawson (also Vreugdenhil’s partner), among them foreign players allegedly being underpaid and playing without work permits and insurance. Trouw writes that the players’ contracts state that the basketball players receive a considerable amount (sometimes up to 1,800 euro) for being ambassadors for YCND, which includes giving clinics. Vreugdenhil herself states that her foundation does not “pay players or sponsor the Maastricht Rebels”. However, she has so far refused to give access to the annual reports, in spite of requests from various media, including Observant. A request for clarification from ESF has also remained unanswered.

YCND’s Board of Governors and supervisory board have now decided – in response to the accusations – to have an external party carry out an investigation, Vreugdenhil informed Observant by mail. "Pending that investigation, we are not making any further announcements." Earlier, the city of Maastricht had already announced that they will investigate the situation regarding the Maastricht Rebels. ESF says it will wait for those outcomes before deciding on continuation of the subsidy.

Photo: Shutterstock

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: vreugdenhil,ycnd,coach,rebels,basketball,subsidy,investigation

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