A seminar for Belarusian sports officials led by European Olympic Committees (EOC) sports consultant Makis Asimakopoulos is held today in Minsk. Managers of sports facilities and 23 disciplines are gathered together in order to get a better idea of the preparation to be done prior the 2nd European Games.
– I am glad we bring together so many people today, – began his opening speech the CEO of Minsk European Games Organizing Committee (MEGOC) George Katulin. – The meeting with representatives of federations and managers of sports facilities shows that our preparation has moved to a new phase, where we will begin the actual preparation at the facilities. The main speaker of today’s seminar is the experienced EOC consultant Mr. Asimakopoulos. He was responsible for the preparation of various multi-sport international events. In our case, the phrase “multisport event” is the key, emphasizing the nature of the upcoming forum.
Makis Asimakopoulos began his part with an introduction on the history of the European Games project and spoke about the standard that was established during the 1st European Games Baku 2015. At the same time, Mr. Asimakopolous noted that EOC expects that Minsk will demonstrate a completely new model for hosting the main continental competition which will guarantee the sustainability and successful future of the Games and will enable any country to host such a forum. After all, the Belarusian version of the multi-sport competition is based on the principle of compactness, reduction of funding, by investing in the quality of the tournament rather than in quantity of the participants. Therefore, the Belarusian capital will gather fewer athletes, but all of them will be top-level. The competitions themselves will last for two days less than in Azerbaijan, and the sports program will be reduced to 15 sports. In addition, another factor of the exemplary nature of the Belarusian model is that we will only use the already existed facilities, instead of expanding the problem of white elephants.
– Today is a very important day in terms of delivering the Games in Minsk. The people who gathered here are key managers because the Games will not take place at the headquarter of MEGOC, but at the sports facilities. During the seminar, we will inform managers about all aspects of preparation, which is moving at a fast pace. We are glad that sports facilities already exist in the country and we have only to prepare them for the competitions, to debug the functioning of the services for client groups such as athletes, coaches, European federations, media and others. At the same time, the main challenge for today is the question of integration, i.e. the need to combine all services and people like pieces of a puzzle. This is the key to the success of the Games, – shared the goal of the seminar Makis Asimakopoulos.
After the first break, a series of presentations prepared by the managers of the sports areas of MEGOC will be delivered.
-The compactness of the 2nd European Games asks additional responsibility from MEGOC due to the fact that the EOC promises to ensure the participation of the best athletes of our continent since most of the competitions are qualifying for the next Olympics in Tokyo, – said George Katulin. – We, as organizers, must ensure the level of competitions, accommodation, and other services, corresponding to the athletes participating in the Games. Now we need to create a battle-worthy team at each facility, who will hold smooth, the bright event with many spectators, and a magnificent television coverage. It is the main thing that we must provide. Through the eyes of television companies, the whole world will see us, and it is the main goal of the Games.
Belarus has to declare itself as a sporting country where people happily visit competitions and have an excellent infrastructure. Guests and fans, whom we hope to see a significant number, should have bright impressions about our country. We will try to make these days in Minsk unforgettable and try to spread pleasant impressions through all fifty participating National Olympic Committees to the whole of Europe.