Kyiv, February 23, 2016. “We have managed to register here and resume the work of the 7 out of 10 institutions, among which are the schools of higher sports skills: Junior Sports School of Olympic Reserve “Olympic Hope”, a specialized youth sports school for the disabled, two youth centers for supporting youth initiatives, social studies and social cultural adaptation of disabled youth,” Evgeniya Ratihina, Deputy Head of Youth and Sports Department of Luhansk Civil Military Administration, informed about the sports infrastructure in Luhansk region at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center within UCMC pilot project “Spokesperson of peaceful life”. The Department started resuming operation of public facilities in September 2014. According to Evgeniya Ratihina, Olympic training center “Olympus” is the only sports facility of this kind in the region. “All the other facilities – stadiums, swimming pools, sports halls, ice arenas, all remained in the territory not controlled by the government,” noted Deputy Head of Youth and Sports Department.
However, sportsmen successfully represent Luhansk region in the national competitions and the country as a whole – in the international ones, said Evgeniya Ratihina. According to her, last year the sportsmen from Luhansk region won 15 awards in Olympic sports in the world and European competitions, of which 10 – in the European and World Championships. “In 2016, as of today, they won 40 medals, including 15 gold, 12 silver and 11 bronze in the championships and cups of Ukraine,” informed Evgeniya Ratihina. Natalia Strohova was the first in 60- metres race in the international tournament in Estonia. As part of the national team of Ukraine the athletes in platform diving compete for medals of the licensed World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately, certain outflow of sportsmen is noted due to military operations in the east. “We have managed to save 95% of the sportsmen. We are using the method of a consolidated credit. Sportsmen are training in other regions, but they bring points and medals to our region,” she said.
Maryna Sheludehsheva, director of the junior sports school in Sloviansk, director of “Plast” (scout organization) in Donetsk region, informed that there are two sports schools in Sloviansk, the work of which was resumed with the help of volunteering organizations and charities. The school has three branches: Greco-Roman wrestling, athletics and gymnastics. According to her, the first two branches give many points to the region. Girls competing in athletics occupy first places in the region, and the boys competing in Greco-Roman wrestling also bring enough points to the region. Maryna Sheludehsheva informed that if earlier the sportsmen could take part in competitions only in Donetsk and Mariupol, now they can travel to Kharkiv, Poltava and Kremenchuk. “The only way for regional competitions in athletics is Artemivsk […] or Kostiantynivka that hosts regional wrestling competitions,” noted Maryna Sheludehsheva.
According to her, the lack of adequate infrastructure, except for Slaviansk and Kramatorsk, is the problem for gymnastics, because Gorlivka and Donetsk used to host these competitions. Now they occupied. However, young sportsmen cannot leave the region due to insufficient funding. Maryna Sheludehsheva also said that “Plast” has resumed its activities. Previously, such clubs for children were also in Avdiivka and Donetsk. Currently, due to a temporary occupation such sport centers operate only in Slaviansk.