Ice exam

9 months ago 0

On March 20th, the press center of BelTA hosted a press conference dedicated to the opening of the 4th World University Speed Skating Championship.

The press conference was attended by: Adam Roczek, President of the European University Sports Association (EUSA), member of the Executive Committee of International University Sports Federation (FISU); Alexander Bogdanovich, chairman of the Belarusian Student Sport Association, Olympic  Canoe champion in canoeing; Alexander Novakovich, director of the Republican Center for Olympic Training in Ice Sports, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Skating Union; Vitaly Strigelsky, director of the Republican Center of Physical Education and Sports for pupils and students.

Belarus hosts the world university championship for the second time. In 2014, our country won the bid to stage the World University Canoe Sprint Championship and demonstrated a high organizational and sporting level.

“For Belarus the current championship  is either a sports project as well as the matter of image, —  the head of the student sport of the country Alexander Bogdanovich stressed. — And moreover it’s another one serious exam. Preparations for the competitions are almost completed. Fortunately, the Belarusian Skating Union and the Republican Center of Physical Education and Sports, representatives of the ISU and FISU had a close organized cooperation. At the upcoming tournament our team will be one of the most numerous – 18 athletes. I am glad that such a number of Belarusian students will take part in international competitions the upcoming days”.

“The Republic of Belarus has been a member of the International University Sports Federation since 1993,” — Vitaly Strigelsky said at the press conference. — During this time Belarusian athletes have won 225 medals at World Universiades: 162 at the Summer Universiades and 63 at the Winter ones. Just during the last two seasons of participating in the world championships, our students brought home 54 medals”.

The largest multifunctional cultural and sports complex of Belarus Minsk-Arena will become base facility. And the skating stadium, one of the best in Europe, will be the competitions venue. The championship will be attended by 114 student athletes from 14 countries. The smallest teams will come from Hungary, Finland, the Czech Republic, Sweden. The most numerous are from Belarus, Russia, the Netherlands, Poland.

Adam Roczek marked the high level of the championship venue: “A few days ago the ISU World Cup Speed Skating, which was held at Minsk-Arena, ended. If it’s a good stadium for the World Cup, it certainly fits for student world competitions too. The high interest of media allows thinking that sport plays a big role in the public life of Belarus. The International Federation holds more than thirty planetary forums for various sports among students, but only two in winter. And the capital of Belarus will host one of the tournaments this week.”

Mr. Roczek stressed that the International University Sports Federation cooperates with the European Olympic Committees (EOC), and FISU closely follows the preparations for the Second European Games: “Hosting such large-scale events is a serious challenge for the organizers. I know that the Belarusian Student Sports Association (BASS) is actively engaged in the preparation of volunteers, the overwhelming number of which will be students. We wish you good luck!”

Alexander Novakovich highlighted the prospects of the Belarusian delegation and strong foreign teams: “12 men and 6 women will reach the ice track. The leader of the host team will be a student of the Belarusian State University Ignat Golovatsiuk, who has a serious experience of performing in the international arena: in February he took part in the XXIII Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. The Belarusian team counts on the successful performance of Ignat at the distance of 500 m, 1000 m, in the team sprint and mass start. We hope for its good shape.”

According to the representative of the Belarusian Skating Union, athletes from Russia, the Netherlands, Poland, and Japan will seriously compete with Belarusians, where traditionally student sport is developed at a sufficiently high level. “This is an excellent test for the reserve of many national teams. Very strong teams from Poland, Japan, and the Netherlands who develop this sport. Some of the athletes already claimed licenses to participate in Pyeongchang, and many will be leading skaters already in Beijing in 2022,” — Alexander Novakovich stated.

Also during the press conference, it was noted that within the framework of the championship on March 21st, a memorandum on cooperation between the Belarusian Student Sports Association and Akademicki Zwiazek Sportowy (Poland) will be concluded.