Monday, October 27, 2008

Change of generations and absence of bases - main reasons of Ukrainian swimmers' unpreparedness to Games in Beijing - Yuriy Pavlenko

A change of the generations in the Ukrainian national team and absence of a relevant base in the country to prepare for the Olympics became the main reasons of our athletes' and coaches' unpreparedness to the Olympic Games in Beijing, where the national team failed to win a single medal, Minister for Family, Youth and Sports Yuriy Pavlenko told a press conference.

"After an unsuccessful performance of the Ukrainian athletes at the Olympic Games, I approached specialists so that they made a detailed analysis of what took place in swimming. The experts have prepared a relevant document called "The crisis of national swimming and ways for its overcoming". In several days we will complete the analysis", the minister noted.

According to him, in order to improve the situation not only in swimming, but also in other Olympic sports, on October 30 a meeting will be held that will approve a general plan of development for all priority sports.

Yuriy Pavlenko informed that reconstruction of the sports complex in Kyiv will help in solving this problem to some extent, as well as development of bases in Kharkiv (Akvarena) and Dnipropetrovsk (Meteor). In addition, it is envisaged that the country's western region and a swimming pool of the International Children's Center Artek in Crimea will be attracted to this program.

The minister also paid attention to an insufficient number of swimming pools. "There should be one swimming pool for three schools in Ukraine, each district center should have a swimming pool too", he said. "It is a minimum task put by the President. I believe that we will fulfill it in two to three years".

He expressed hope that a program for development of children's and youth's sports schools will be adopted at the Government's next meeting.

Issues concerning athletes were also discussed. The international tournament in honor of well-known Ukrainian swimmer Denys Silantyev will take place on November 7-8 in Zaporizhzhia. Participating in it will be leading swimmers from the whole world.

Organizer of the competitions Denys Silantyev said that holding of the tournament will become one of the stages in development of swimming in the country.