Feedback

Non-Olympic athletes are limited in funding, attention, though they enter top-5 in most of the combats, - President of Ukraine's Sports Committee

Author : International 112

Respondent : Illya Shevlyak

Source : 112 Ukraine

"We tried to unite 10 sports on one site – tatami, carpet, rink, dohyo for sumo and a special floor for wushu – in one place to invite title fighters, champions and prize-winners of the world, Europe, and to show the beauty of combats for the viewer so that during three hours of title bouts the viewer could compare, feel the specifics of sports, feel the feast," Illya Shevlyak
10:15, 1 January 2020

Illya Shevlyak, the President of Ukraine's Sports Committee
Ukraine's Sports Committee

Why the tournament is held this time in international format?

- We are always experimenting. We are trying to search for new interesting formats. UCG began as all-Ukraine combat games for the first time in 2011. Initially, it wasn't our idea. As in 2010 the World Combat Games first took place in Bejing, China, in which 106 countries of the world took part. Ukraine was ranked 3rd. This is the usual practice already – Ukrainian fighters enter the top 5 in most of the combats, sometimes in top 10 sporting nations.

This time we decided to try this format on an international level. And it was then and still remains now - a unique format, when there are competitions in different sports within a single tournament, unlike the championships are usually held. We tried to unite 10 sports on one site – tatami, carpet, rink, dohyo for sumo and a special floor for wushu – in one place to invite title fighters, champions and prize-winners of the world, Europe, and to show the beauty of combats for the viewer so that during three hours of title bouts the viewer could compare, feel the specifics of sports, feel the feast.  On the other side, it is an opportunity to decide which sports could be interesting for your child.

Anyway, everything has to come up to a certain result. We do believe that these events will lead parents to decide on bringing their children to one or the other sports club.

Why the international format? 

Having started in 2011, in 2015 we felt the interest in the project and decided to try and hold the event in the Palace of Sports though we worried if it would be full as the viewers are not the best KPI. Fortunately, the hall was filled to the brim and people were sitting in the passageways, over 6,000 viewers – so it is interesting for people.

In 2017 we did not hold the all-Ukraine games because there were World games. In 2018 we decided again decided to try a new format – to go to the regions and on the level of the region find out if the sports format is interesting with an element of the show directly for regional sports elite and of course for the viewer. We divided the tournament into two parts – we held in Kharkiv a ring version with 5 sports, and in Lviv we held a tatami version in December.

It was interesting, but such a format showed some problems. In Kharkiv, there were problems with infrastructure (only one Palace of Sports fits there). In Lviv, there is an old Palace of Sports, not completely suitable for holding sports events.

This year our team decided to try the international format. Will it be interesting for our sportsmen and for the Polish side? We see it as a pilot project, as a friendly meeting. If the Polish positively perceive it then why not? Then we could move to other countries, organize some regional competitions with the participation of several countries. When we analyze this years’ event, we will decide how to proceed further.

In which combats Ukraine is the strongest in international competitions?

In those presented here – Thai boxing, karate, wushu, kickboxing, alysh, sumo, sambo. Ukraine is always in the top 10 in these combats. For instance, Bohdan Mochulsky is the winner of Х World games in jujutsu in 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland, and a gold medalist of Jujutsu World Championship in Abu Dhabi. In Thai boxing a Ukrainian is a seven-times world champion, he is called “Thai terror,” because he beats in the ring the founders of these sports. That is why we are a top country in combats in the world.

Did UCG have success in 2013-2014?

Unfortunately, we did not hold the games in those years. This was our decision because it would contradict the events happening in the country at the time. In 2014, we started a separate information campaign “Sports unites” in connection to the events in Ukraine.

In 2015 – 2016 we held a competition in Kyiv and in 2017 we did not hold them because the World Combat Games were held in Wroclaw. In 2018 the games were held in regional format and in 2019 – in international.

During the time op existence of UCG in Ukraine, the authorities in the country changed tree times. Did you feel those changes in sports in general and in UCG in particular?

I cannot say anything now. I hope that there will be changes. I feel the desire to change a lot of things. And we have a lot to change. I hope that the final strategy of the development of sports will be adopted and we will succeed. Over 500,000 people are engaged in non-Olympic kinds of sports, and there are a lot of non-Olympic kinds of sports. Apart from that, there’s a big number of non-professional corporate teams who are not registered with the Sports Committee, who are just playing for fun, holding championships.

Unlike Olympians, these athletes are limited in funding and attention, but on the other hand, they are very strong because they are fighting for their place in the sun. We have created our great and loving family, a family that holds on to their values, helping each other, when they need to turn to each other - Wushu turns for help to Thai boxing, Thai boxers help kickboxers, and so on. They have a very friendly and holistic relationship.

Topics:
Система Orphus

If you find an error, highlight the desired text and press Ctrl + Enter, to tell about it

Comments
see more
latest news
editor's choice
video