The third season of the sports and cultural festival “Vytoki. A Step Towards Olympus” kicked off in Zhlobin. The festival welcomed the guests and participants with good weather and a packed program. It was very busy on the square near the Palace of Metallurgists before the opening ceremony. Last preparations for the Olympic quest were underway, young athletes were preparing for their race, and the gastrofest was unfolding attracting a large number of people with an excellent vereshchaka, a Belarusian national dish.
The second day of the festival began with a flower ceremony at the Soldiers-Liberators monument in memory of the 63rd Rifle Corps. Together with the head of the NOC of Belarus Viktor Lukashenko, the organizers of the Vytoki festival, the senior officials of the Gomel Oblast administration and the Sport and Tourism Ministry paid tribute to the fallen soldiers.
Before the start of the Olympic quest, Viktor Lukashenko inspected the sports infrastructure of the district and visited the Olympic Reserve Center, the BMZ youth sports school, the district sports school and the city stadium.
The opening ceremony launched the festival and also gave start to the competition.
Viktor Lukashenko congratulated everyone on the opening of the festival and also extended greetings on the Day of Workers of Physical Culture and Sports.
Viktor Lukashenko noted that Vytoki has been gaining momentum.
“The organizers are looking for new forms, new ideas. The latest ones are the Games of Our Yard program and the gastrofest. Relying on traditions, the festival is going innovative. Over the years, the festival has become nationwide, people are looking toward it. There is already some competition among the cities that would like to host Vytoki. It helps promote physical culture and sports in districts. So here’s our certificate to support sports," Viktor Lukashenko noted.
He also congratulated Zhlobin on the second national ice hockey championship title.
Traditionally, the NOC of Belarus helps each of the host cities with sports infrastructure and allocated Br100 thousand to Zhlobin.
The certificate was officially handed over to the host city during the official opening ceremony of the festival.
“Vytoki allows the districts to show their potential in sport and tourism. Every year more people come to the festival. Gomel Oblast has already hosted Vytoki (Mozyr and Rechitsa) and every time the number of participants rose. This is an excellent indicator of the popularity of the festival," Gomel Oblast Governor Ivan Krupko said.
A children's athletics race made part of the program of the Vytoki festival in Zhlobin. More than 500 boys and girls under nine took part in this sporting event. Zhlobin native Vladimir Lovetsky, silver medalist of the Olympic Games in athletics in Munich, was present at the race. He shared his first impressions of the festival:
“This is my first time at Vytoki. I arrived early and walked around all the sports sites. It is really great ! As for the race, the kids will understand what athletics is, and will learn what victory means,” Vladimir Lovetsky said.
The Olympic quest is one of the key events of the festival. The quest featured more than 20 sports and the main prize is wireless headphones. The Semenchukov family won the Olympic Quest at Vytoki. “This is a wonderful holiday. The child is happy. We give kudos to Vytoki.”
Zhlobin also hosted the final of the regional stage of the new intellectual and educational project Vytoki.Quiz. Teams from every district of Gomel Oblast took part in the competition which was won by Team Timurka of Zheleznodorozhny District of Gomel.
The tent of the national sportswear brand IROS was quite popular with young people who were interested in the novelties.
Natalya Dovnar, a pediatrician with Zhlobin Central Regional Hospital, bought stylish T-shirts at the tent of the national sportswear brand IROS.
Apart from sports events, the festival included a presentation of the Rodnae Modnae collections of Belarusian enterprises, designers and entrepreneurs.
This year the cultural program of the Vytoki festival features a new contest of song lyrics Poems About Main Things. The jury has already selected the winner in Gomel Oblast. It was a song performed by Zemlya I Nebo band (music by Aleksandr Sukharev, lyrics by Lyudmila Yaskova.
One of the draws of the festival was a competition for young vocalists. Many new names have already been discovered at Vytoki, and hopefully, Zhlobin will not be an exception. Valery Shmat and singer Teo presented Alina Gulevich with the semifinal winner’s diploma.
“Vytoki has already become a real movement. We are welcome in every city. We see a great interest in this festival. A lot of people come to concerts. We always think thoroughly what to add to please and interest the crowd. We have a lot of ideas,” concert director Alesya Kuznetsova said.
The festival wrapped with a concert and entertainment program featuring popular Belarusian singers, colorful fireworks and a disco.
The main objective of the project is to unlock the potential of regions through sports, culture, science and education.
The organizers of the Vytoki festival are the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, the Arthaos and BelBrandAudit companies.
Press service of the NOC of Belarus
Photos by the NOC of Belarus