We need new approaches to the system of training of coaching staff, Belarusian Sports and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk said during the meeting at the Belarusian NOC to discuss the development of winter sports.
The minister focused on the training of the coaching staff in Belarus. “After the Olympic Games the sports ministry officials attended the meetings to sum up the results of performances in biathlon, freestyle, skiing competitions. The problems with coaching staff in these sports are the same as in other sports. Our kids should be trained by good professionals who will help them keep an interest in sport. If we do not introduce changes to the system we will not achieve high results,” Sergei Kovalchuk noted.
The reasons for the winter sports' problems are many: low youth interest, the poor level of training of coaching staff and many other things. But the main one, according to the minister, is a money-first approach. “The ice hockey and figure skating teams did not qualify for the Olympic Games in PyeongChang but they did receive huge money from the government for the preparation. Organizational moments in the sport industry also merit consideration. The sport management system should be built anew. This work is in process now and should be finished by June,” said the minister.
Sergei Kovalchuk noted that some progress has been made with the provision of regional sport facilities with sport equipment but stressed that some problems still persist. “Sometimes it is not about money saving but about equipment inventory, as were the cases in Vitebsk Oblast and Mogilev Oblast. We are going to hold a seminar before the winter season starts to be prepared on time,” Sergei Kovalchuk noted.
The main task for the local authorities in district centers is to make skating rinks and ski tracks before the upcoming winter season starts.
The sports ministry will reinforce control over the national championships. “For example, there were only seven boys and 11 girls in the junior skiing championship, and only one girl in biathlon. The Belarusian championships should never be held like this,” stated Sergei Kovalchuk.
It is also important to improve the effectiveness of the sports schools, to analyze the events calendar and the preparation plans across all the winter sports, the minister said.