Ukraine has won the right to host the 2023 FIFA World Cup for school children and the 2023 Winter World Gymnasium. The decisions were made by the International School Sports Federation and announced by Ukraine’s Minister of Education and Science Serhii Shkarlet on September 17.
“It would seem unbelievable, but true!” Mr. Shkarlet said in a social media post. “The World Championship among schoolchildren on football and the Winter World Gymnasium 2023 will be held in Ukraine.”
Mr. Shkarlet emphasized the great honor, pride and responsibility for Ukraine to be selected for these international competitions.
On his Facebook page, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed confidence that the country will be able to host the competitions at a high level. The Ukrainian president has previously expressed his belief that sports should play a more significant part in children’s lives.
“I am not saying that everyone is to be a professional sports person. Some are taught to be part of a team, while others rely solely on themselves,” Mr. Zelenskyy said. “Sports teach winning and how to rebound from adversity. It is only fitting that one of my priorities is the development of sports infrastructure – playgrounds, stadiums, swimming pools – and the support and development of sports departments in educational institutions.”
Serhiy Nykyforov, press secretary at the Ukrainian presidential office, added that winter and summer Gymnasia are the ultimate international competitions among older schoolchildren. They are held under the guidance of the International Schools Sports Federation, which is comprised of 129 countries.
“There are a total of 55 different competitions in summer and winter. Thousands of youngsters and their parents from around the world will be visiting Ukraine for the Winter Gymnasium. This will be an opportunity to showcase our country and to demonstrate Ukraine is capable of hosting an international sporting event with the hope of successfully bidding on a future Olympics,” Mr. Nykyforov said.
It is hoped that Ukraine’s successful hosting of the 2023 FIFA World Cup for schoolchildren and the Winter Gymnasium will prove to be momentous occasions for the popularization of sports in the country, and will promote physical activity and a healthier lifestyle among Ukrainian youth.