Yuri Vilkul the Mayor of the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih was in Brussels last week to receive the award on behalf of his city at the European Parliament.
Vilkul said: “We highly appreciate this award. I would like to thank our European partners for their work and objective approach to evaluation. We have always done our best to develop sports facilities in the city and support athletes. For those who take their first steps as well as those who have already conquered the peaks of Olympus in their discipline and strive for new sporting victories. This year we adopted an expanded city programme for the development of physical culture and sport through until 2023. It will give us an opportunity to develop the quality of different kinds of sports in the city, and will open new opportunities for athletes and their coaches. Our goal is to make sports available to every citizen.”
Earlier this year, Kryvyi Rih was visited by European experts of the Association of European Capitals and Cities of Sports. Their delegation studied the sports infrastructure of the city. Kryvyi Rih presented their sports programme, projects and facilities.
“A comprehensive approach and systematic work are felt to enable every Kryvyi Rih resident to train, including people with disabilities,” said Hugo Alonso, General Secretary of ACES Europe.
“We saw that in Kryvyi Rih children, teenagers and adults all have the opportunity to engage in their favorite sports and physical education. Therefore, I believe that Kryvyi Rih is worthy of the title “European City of Sport 2020”, – said Mari Kobaladze, ACES Georgia delegate.
Thanks to the systematic work carried out by the city authorities, Kryvyi Rih today is a leader in sports issues in many sectors. In Kryvyi Rih, more than 500 sports competitions of all levels are held annually in Olympic and non-Olympic sports. Despite the state stopping funding at national level, all 10 childrens’ and youth sports schools have been maintained in the city. Some 140,000 citizens (21.5% of the total number of residents) attend classes in fitness groups and sports sections in Kryvyi Rih. Physical education classes are attended by over 79,000 pupils and students. More than 9,000 sportsmen are engaged in childrens’ and youth sports schools IN the city in 30 kinds of sports (24 Olympic and 6 non-Olympic).
According to the programme of the mayor Yuri Vilkul for the last five years more than 120 new sports grounds have been created in Kryvyi Rih. After a major overhaul in September 2017, the 25-metre swimming pool of the childrens’ and youth sports school No. 10 was opened. The 50-metre swimming pool of the Aquatics Palace of Sports School No. 1 is under major repair. A spare football pitch of the Metallurgist sports complex has been reconstructed, and Artificial Turf has been laid. Since 2018, at the initiative of the mayor, hundreds of young sportsmen have participated in training camps entitled “Start”.
Mayor Yuri Vilkul stressed that Kryvyi Rih is a city open to innovation, and its management expects further work with European partners to implement joint programmes, attracting the best European practices and technologies to the city.