Poroshenko congratulates winners, participants of First European Games in Baku
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with the Ukrainian champions and winners of the First European Games 2015, and their coaches, and congratulated them on their great achievements.
"The glorious victory of the Ukrainian team at the very symbolic European Games in Azerbaijan is a great form of support for the Ukrainian people, people of a country in war. We need victories and I wish we'd have them only in sports. We need peace and you've made invaluable contribution to these victories," the press service quoted Poroshenko as saying.
He said he was confident that the success of Ukraine at the games had not only helped the country, but also the whole of Europe.
"This success makes us proud of our country," Poroshenko said.
"You have special fans – warriors who defend Ukraine from the Russian armed aggression," the president said, and he expressed his deep respect for the father of boxer Dmytro Zamotayev, who won a bronze medal at the games, Hennadiy Zamotayev, who voluntarily joined the army and was wounded in action.
"We set courage and fair play in opposition to aggression and lies. We know that with such actions, we will win, and defend Ukraine’s independence and honor. Every victory in sports adds forces to our soldiers, for it is perceived as a predictor of future victory over the aggressor. I am grateful to every author of sports victories for adding forces to every Ukrainian, every warrior," Poroshenko sad.
Addressing the athletes, the president said they had demonstrated true Ukrainian sporting spirit in Baku by winning 46 medals: 8 gold, 14 silver and 24 bronze.
He noted that the Strategy of Reforms 2020 includes sports reform.
"I am sure that we will manage to initiate and implement this reform and achieve the result – 35 medals at the Olympics next summer. It is definitely not easy, but we will have a European experience of developing state-private partnership, information society, creating conditions for scientific developments and introduction of modern technologies in sports," Poroshenko said.
The president highlighted the importance of creating modern sport infrastructure and expressed hope that the government will manage to ensure the full functioning of centers for Olympic and non-Olympic training of athletes.
"We must preserve and develop sports in education. Every educational institution must have its own sport base. Physical culture in schools must be focused on the introduction of innovative forms of education and development of Olympic kinds of sports," Poroshenko said.
He said that, upon a minister's request, the amount of money given to winners at sporting events would be reconsidered.
In turn, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, who also attended the meeting, promised that all the necessary expenses for the preparation of the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro would be funded.