MINSK, 13 October (BelTA) – Belarusian Sport and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk spoke about the current state of the world and Belarusian sport at the international scientific congress “Values, Traditions and Innovations in Modern Sport” in Minsk on 13 October, BelTA has learned.
“Today politics is placed above sports, with politicians trying to pressure people through sports and implement their so-called values. But what is sport? What is it for? As I see it, it is meant to unite people, and even the IOC Olympic Charter spells out these principles. The people who are in charge of big sports today have mixed something up in this life however. Instead of bringing people together and making sport a platform for friendship, they mix it up with politics. Sport without the athletes of Belarus and Russia is just fitness, regional-level tournaments, especially in canoe sprint, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, wrestling, and many others,” Sergei Kovalchuk said.
The minister also emphasized the importance of Belarusian-Russian relations in sports. “Our main value is not just interaction but friendship between our countries. Earlier the sport ministries of Belarus and Russia held meetings once in two years. Today they do it every three months. We can see this positive trend. For an athlete, the most important thing is practice, competition and rewards, and all this has already been created. Our Russian colleagues have a good term, which is proactive import substitution, and we are going in this direction. At our joint competitions many results are higher than those at European championships. We are self-sufficient states, and we must make sure that we do not depend on anyone, that no one dictates the conditions to us. If we use the current situation correctly, we will take our sport to a new level,” Sergei Kovalchuk added.