Ukraine: Host of the 2023 WSC Football & Winter Gymnasiade

In the context of the ISF U15 World School Sport Games taking place from 11-19 September in Belgrade, the ISF Executive Committee attributed the organisation of two major ISF events to Ukraine, namely the ISF Gymnasiade – School Winter Games, and ISF World School Championship Football in 2023.
With this announcement, ISF President Laurent Petrynka spoke of his excitement to have Ukraine as one of the next hosts of an ISF major event.
President Petrynka: “We at ISF are delighted to see Ukraine entering the category of ISF members who are among the most active and committed in the world of school sport. I am greatly looking forward to further developing this strong collaboration with Ukraine in order to continue to take school sport to the highest level of sporting educational experiences for school students.”
Coming with the largest delegation to the ISF U15 World School Sport Games 2021 in Belgrade, Ukraine demonstrated their strong commitment to promoting and developing school sport at the international level. Following this important announcement of the hosting of these two major ISF events we had the opportunity to speak with Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science, Mr Serhiy Shkarlet, who explained how the mission of hosting of two major ISF school sport events in 2023, fits into Ukraine’s national and international education and sport vision:

Mr Serhiy Shkarlet

Minister Shkarlet: “One thing is very interesting in particular; sport events for children have changed a lot in recent years. First of all, such events have long gone beyond sports and now it is a great opportunity to show guests all the aspects, culture, hospitality, history of our country. Except competitions, the entertainment part, which includes a cultural and educational program, is definitely provided. In this part, children communicate with each friend from other countries, and thus learn interesting information about the heritage of various cultures, because, as a rule, such events bring together representatives from all over the world and different continents. Therefore, education and sports are the two main pillars on which the harmonious development of any personality is based.”

With this being the first time Ukraine will organise a traditional international school sport event of this scale, he continued by informing us of their objectives and how they will approach this important challenge.
Minister Shkarlet: “From traditional sports – yes, but we have an extremely successful experience of holding cool international competitions in CoolGames and e-sports among schoolchildren, which we can also have during the World Cup and the World Winter Gymnasium. Also, we have been holding national gymnasiades for more than a year and every year their level rises a few steps higher. You see, every event, every competition is a great opportunity to improve yourself in terms of such events. We are constantly learning something new and looking for ways to surprise the participants of our competitions. And be sure that in 2023 we will once again be able to surprise the world sport community.” Building upon this point, he also spoke about which aspects he thought that hosting these events will contribute to the development and the promotion of physical activities and sport for the youth in Ukraine.
Minister Shkarlet: “Currently, the statistics of those who do sports or physical activity are very low, but at the same time we see a positive trend, because this number is growing every year. Children’s world is first of all knowledge of life and this process depends mostly on their surroundings. Imagine yourself as a schoolboy, and that during the Football World School Championship your classmate is performing, and not just performing, but also winning a trophy! TV, newspapers, online publications speak about him. And he is just ordinary guy who sits next to you at the desk. Maybe he also breaks windows in physical education lessons, likes orange juice or fishing (I’m kidding). And you immediately have a question: why can’t I do that? You begin to look for activities that suits you, where you could realize yourself. That is why our young athletes, who are already participating in such grand competitions, are the most important ambassadors and a living example for those millions of schoolchildren who are not yet involved in sports, but they already have the seeds of sports.”