The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Cancels its Grant to the Hellenic Sailing Federation, Seeking other ways to Support a Sailing Program for People with Disabilities
17 February 2021

Today, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) informed the Hellenic Sailing Federation (EIO) by letter of its decision to cancel the remaining balance of its grant to the Federation, effective immediately.

SNF’s decision is in no way intended to penalize the grant’s direct beneficiaries, the people with disabilities who take part in the sailing program. Recognizing the importance of the program and with a sense of responsibility toward its beneficiaries, SNF intends to act transparently to reallocate the remaining balance of the grant directly to local sailing clubs throughout Greece to allow the program to continue without interruption. The Foundation will immediately explore alternative ways of implementing the program, with the ultimate goal of best serving participants.

In a January 16 letter to the President of the Hellenic Sailing Federation and the Federation’s Board of Directors, SNF expressed shock and dissatisfaction with the response from the Federation and its statements regarding the very serious allegations by Olympic champion Sofia Bekatorou. SNF made clear its intention to cancel the grant altogether unless it received sufficient and satisfactory assurances within 30 days that the matter at hand would be resolved in a comprehensive and final manner.

In a letter replying to SNF within that timeframe, the Federation informed SNF of the steps it is taking related to these allegations and how it would manage similar incidents in the future. Having evaluated EIO’s reply about consolidating relevant policies, SNF deemed that the organization has not yet fully formulated a response able to adequately address the internal and external challenges it faces and is thus incapable of ensuring smooth and effective implementation of the grant.

SNF, guided by the ultimate goal of supporting the people with disabilities who participate in the program, believes that it can be successfully implemented by local sailing clubs, and is moving rapidly toward effecting this solution.