New Sports Minister Sergey Kovalchuk about how to make Belarus recognizable


New Sports Minister Sergey Kovalchuk about how to make Belarus recognizable

The CTV Channel has interviewed new Minister of Sport and Tourism Sergey Kovalchuk.

Today we have welcome news from South Korea. This winter Paralympic Games are the most successful for Belarus. We are the eighth in the world. In your opinion how to encourage professional athletes to do their best?

The Paralympic athletes perform well, but they do not earn that much money as compared to professional athletes. It's not just about money, is it?

Sergey Kovalchuk, Minister of Sports and Tourism of Belarus:
I think it's not about money. Look at the dynamics. Eight years ago at Paralympics in Vancouver, we had 9 medals: two gold medals and seven bronze medals. And today we have 12 medals.

Some athletes worked on their mistakes and changed their attitude to the performances and this is what we require from every sport

Dutch athletes are participating now in skating. Probably, 90% of the medals won by the Dutch athletes at the Olympic Games are in skating. Skating is their strong point. We also must concentrate on particular areas. We should identify these priority sports, the centers, the trainers and understand all this.

Believe me, we do not have people who are indifferent to sports. There are specialists at every level, in each region and in each capital city. They should only be found, put at the head, and motivated. And then the result will be.

What is your first opinion about the sports industry? Is it also political for us?

Sergey Kovalchuk:
Today sport is both politics and ideology. And how much money is invested, how much attention from the leadership and from ordinary people is paid to this. We can not stand aside today.

The more people will be attracted to the sport, the wider choice we will have in order to find these athletes at all levels. Regardless of whether it is a youth sports school, a school of the Olympic Reserve, sports at universities, enterprises, organizations. There are many people in the country involved in sports. But there must be more of them.

Sport is both ideology, the reputation of the state, and the health of the nation. But in the name of your Ministry there is still the word "tourism". In your opinion, how can we combine sport and tourism?

Sergey Kovalchuk:
These two parts are inseparable and interconnected. For example, now the Skating World Cup is being held. You can see how many representatives of the Netherlands are here. They come here with their clubs, they come here as tourists - and this is an economy, this is an attraction of financial resources to the country. And this principle must be applied to every sport.

Our country should be recognizable. When we look at the athlete, who is running in ski races in the top ten, we see the country, we see the flag. We see our state. And people know about us.

We should prepare for all kinds of sports that are profiled in the country and we should attract people to them. We should present our country.

Judging by your appearance, you will probably be the most sporting minister of Belarusian sport.

Sergey Kovalchuk:
I do not seek to be the most sporting Minister of Sport, but I like sport, I do many sports.

Which ones?

Sergey Kovalchuk:
Now, after the event is over, I'm planning to go skiing in Vesnyanka. I think I will run about ten-fifteen kilometers - the weather is magnificent today, just suitable for skiing.