Kemerovo is hosting the 10th
edition of the international forum "Russia – Country of Sports" featuring well-known specialists, experts and guests from 15 countries.
President of the Belarusian NOC Viktor Lukashenko took part in the opening ceremony of the forum and the exhibition "Modern Sport. Innovations and Prospects" and toured the stands of various sports organizations. Viktor Lukashenko paid special attention to the stands by Rosengineering, the Russian Olympic Committee, ice hockey federations, Thai boxing, Perm Territory, the Games of the Future Kazan 2024 expo and others.
Together with Russian partners, he opened a phygital center with a total area of 1,260 m2. The unique sports facility combines an eSports club with Playstation and VR zones, a "smart" sports ground for mini-football, basketball and workout.
In an interview with Russia's First Channel, Viktor Lukashenko noted that in the sports industry the problems of substituting imported equipment and gear are solvable.
“We saw a lot of stands in Kemerovo. We have some developments. You have interesting solutions too. I made this conclusion that Russia can provide itself with sports equipment and clothes. We are looking toward the expansion of cooperation between enterprises in terms of production of sports equipment and related gear. In particular, we got interested in biathlon mechanical and electro-mechanical machines. We have good relations with the Russian Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Sports of Russia, we hold many joint events. We will be expanding cooperation," Viktor Lukashenko said.
In his speech at the plenary session of the forum Belarusian Sport and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk noted that Belarus and Russia held more than 500 events this year. He stressed that athletes of the two countries are happy to participate in competitions and training camps.
“We arrange joint sports events and will continue to do so from Brest to Vladivostok. Unfortunately, Western sports officials succeeded in dragging sport into global political processes. The whole world is watching the unfair and absurd suspension of athletes from our states. We see that individual countries are taking advantage of the situation in order to eliminate strong athletes. The best should be determined in a fair competition, not in behind-the-scenes political games of individual functionaries. In such circumstances, we are simply obliged to preserve the potential of our countries as leading sports powers. We support and help each other’s athletes. However, we should go beyond the interaction of our countries. Athletes from Asia, Africa and Latin America should be involved in common sports projects and events. We support the position of the Russian Federation on broader cooperation with the SCO and BRICS countries. We already provide sports facilities, training centers, specialists to these countries to help them promote sports. At the same time, I would like to note that we did not withdraw from any international federations, and if needed, our athletes are ready to participate in any competitions. We should always be ready for this,” Sergei Kovalchuk said.
According to the Belarusian sports minister, the current situation prompted Belarus and Russia to take a closer look at the development of sports in their regions, to establish closer contacts between national federations. Sergei Kovalchuk noted that Belarus is ready to host the 2023 CIS Games. These Games will be open and they will show the whole world how to cooperate and compete.
The Belarusian delegation including Sport and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk, Rector of the Belarusian State University of Physical Education Sergei Repkin, NADA Director Denis Muzhzhukhin, Director of the Scientific and Practical Center of Sports Irina Malevanaya and Director of the Raubichi Olympic Winter Sports Center Aleksandr Gagiyev took an active part in different thematic events in Kemerovo and exchanged views on further development of sport with their counterparts from Russian regions.
Ksenia Sankovich, acting NOC Secretary General, participated in the ROC panel session “The Russian Olympic Movement. Challenges and Solutions”.
The key themes of this year’s forum are the promotion of physical education and sports, support of athletes, import substitution, digitalization of the industry and implementation of various projects to set up new facilities and innovative sports venues.
The forum also envisages numerous discussion platforms, Power of Kuzbass multi-sport festival and All-Kuzbass street games. The forum included a ceremony to open the first unique Digital Platform in Russia and Kuzbass Arena Multifunctional Sports Center.
In 2021 Kuzbass was named the most sporting region of Russia. Over 300 sports facilities were built, reconstructed and upgraded in the region over the last three years.
The Russia-Country of Sports forum is the main event in the country’s sports industry to discuss key topics in physical education, professional and mass sports.
Every year the forum brings together Olympic champions, heads of executive bodies of the Russian Federation, sports federations and sports facilities, representatives of private businesses, journalists and experts in the sports industry.
Press service of the NOC of Belarus
Photos by the organizers of the forum