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The government has allocated 2,100 billion forints (EUR 5.8bn) for supporting sports since it came to power in 2010, to save the sector from “withering away” due to lack of funding for infrastructure and training, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday, inaugurating a swimming pool in Gödöllő, near Budapest. Thanks to government support, the number of competitive athletes has grown to 560,000, he said. The Gödöllő pool, which belongs to the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences but also caters to the needs of the general public, is part of a detailed development plan the government has accepted in cooperation with the national swimming association, Orbán said. Since 2010, 35 swimming pools have been built and 10 revamped nationwide at a total cost of 180 billion forints, he said. Developing universities will contribute to propelling Hungary to the top of European Union countries, he said. Sándor Csányi, the head of the board of trusties at the university, thanked the government for the investment which “filled a huge gap” in the services in the region. High quality sports life is a key element of university training, that also serves the general public in the region, he said.