By Humphrey Carter

SOME of the main sponsors of the Balearics' principal sporting events and sports stars are either cancelling their contracts or reducing their financial backing commitment, according to the Balearic Minister for Youth and Sport Mateu Cañellas.

However, yesterday, the Balearic Minister for Tourism Miguel Nadal, agreed to help try and bail out some of the main international events being forced to search for new funding to survive and pumped 400'000 euros into the promotion and organisation of elite sports.

The Princess Sofia sailing regatta and the Challenger cycling tour, for example, are important national and international sporting events which also provide Majorca with priceless overseas publicity and these are going to be two of the main beneficiaries of the government aid.

The Tourism Minister said at yesterday's signing of the agreement, that via the Ministry for Youth and Sport, the government wants to help secure the future of the main existing sporting events and, if possible, increase the number of top level competitions the region hosts.

Cañellas said that it is important that in times like these that the local authorities do not turn their backs on sporting events and local sportsmen and women.