Sport has always been uniting people, including those with different religious beliefs or political views. Longstanding popularity of the Olympic Games proves it. In both Ukraine’s Olympic and Paralympic teams there are sportsmen from Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Despite the complicated situation in the region work to develop sports never stops. What is exactly being done to develop sports in eastern Ukraine?
Kyiv, September 13, 2016. As of today all 20 sports schools in the liberated territory of Donetsk region that were active before the combat actions, restarted their work. They have been moved to the government-controlled area and are working in full now.
Restoring sports facilities
Among the facilities in question there is the Olympic reserve college named in honor of world record-breaking athlete Serhiy Bubka, who currently serves as a President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine. The college is now located in Bakhmut and has 281 students. A series of specialized sports and Olympic reserve schools restarted their work, said Volodymyr Mytsyk, director of the Sports Department at the Donetsk regional military-and-civil administration, speaking via Skype at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC) in the framework of UCMC project “Spokesperson of peaceful life” implemented with support of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany.
According to Mytsyk, there is enough financing in the sector. “In 2015 we received a sum from the regional budget that may be well considered a record large over the entire time that our department exists,” he noted.
Renovation of existing sports facilities
Mytsyk said that a series of sports facilities that require renovation have been transferred to the Department’s ledger. Money has been disbursed from the state budget to prepare the project documentation. Thus, overall repair works will be conducted at the dormitory of the Olympic reserve college. “Avant-garde” stadium has also been transferred into the ownership of college including 400 hectares of land where its new premises are to be built. Construction is due to start next year. Local authorities are now establishing a regional hub for preparation to the Olympics at the School of Higher Sports Mastery (a type of a sports school – UCMC). “In Myrnograd they started renovating the Palace of Sports that has the largest on the government-controlled territory indoor sports hall: 40m x 20m, and a 50-m long swimming pool with six lanes,” said the director of the Sports Department. One of the biggest projects is construction of the Ice Palace in Kramatorsk.
Sportsmen of Donetsk region contribute to sports achievements of their country
This year 21 sportsmen from Donetsk region were part of Ukraine’s Team at the Olympic Games, they were selected out of 61 candidates in the region. One of them is Ihor Radivilov. He was the first to make a special type of a vault jump and therefore, it is now named in his honor (“The Radivilov” – UCMC). However, this time he took the 8th place. “For the first time we introduced the practice based on the results of successful performance at the Olympic or Paralympic Games as well as at European championships, regional budget allows providing financial awards to support and further motivate the sportsmen. We were giving such awards for the 4th, 5th and 6th places as well,” said Volodymyr Mytsyk. He noted that not everyone is training in the region, 54 sportsmen have left to other regions, however, they remain registered with the sports institutions of Donetsk.
Teams from Donetsk region continue taking part in the national competitions. They include the “Donbas” hockey team that won the Premier League, “Avant-garde” football team from Kramatorsk and “Illichivsk” from Mariupol, volleyball team from Bakhmut.
Development of sports in the region
As to the amateur sports, small projects of construction and renovation of sports infrastructure including football fields, swimming pools and sports grounds – local authorities now set to build various sports facilities in Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka and other big cities. For example, two sports grounds with artificial cover are due to be opened next weekend, construction of three more will be finished by the end of the year. A public garden was opened in Kramatorsk – Bernadsky Garden that has grounds for beach volleyball and basketball. “We organized competitions in these kinds of sports at the opening, there were about 200 people participating,” added Mytsyk. Public half-marathon is to take place in Kramatorsk soon.
Volodymyr Mytsyk said that at the local level work is on over a project for development of physical education and sports in 2017-2021. In November the project is to be considered at the regional level and will be then introduced for public discussion.