Physical Education and Sport
The state social policy of the Republic of Belarus aims at promoting physical education and sports in the society.
Promotion of a healthy lifestyle and sports is one of the priorities of the state policy. The measures taken by the state to reach this goal include creation of sports facilities, development of sports infrastructure, particularly in small and medium towns.
The Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus is a body responsible for implementation of the state policy aimed at developing physical education and sports.
Physical education and sport in the Republic is an independent branch having a fully formed management structure, material and technical and human resources, a system of sport educational institutions, organization and educational establishments.
The Belarusian budget allocates funds for promotion of physical education and sports, particularly, for organization of sports competitions, maintenance of sports facilities and educational centres, sports clubs, etc.
In order to satisfy population demand in sport and health improving activities the government provides fee-based services. At the same time, handicapped children younger than 16, orphans and children without parental support, the physically challenged of I and II groups are entitled to such services free of charge. Partial payment is provided for nonworking retirees, children members of large families and the families with one of the parents being a physically challenged of I or II groups.
There are 25,700 sporting facilities in Belarus. Belarus is proud of its ski resorts Silichi and Logoisk, and its ice arenas. In Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, a ski resort and recreation center Belarus was built. This resort will be used not only by travelers but also by Belarusian mountain skiers, for Sochi will host the Olympic Games in 2014. In 2008, just on New Year’s Eve, a new cycle trek was inaugurated in Minsk, able to seat more than 2,000 spectators. The cycle trek is the first part of the multifunctional cultural and sport complex Minsk-Arena, which will include a skating stadium and a 15,000-seat ice rink, which will host the World Ice Hockey Championship in 2014.
The state also focuses attention on the development of professional sports. The country has been developing a system of training of highclass sportsmen, which includes sports schools, specialized schools of Olympic reserve, colleges of Olympic reserve, schools of higher sports mastership, centers of Olympic
training. There are also children’s and youth physical training clubs. Sports schools are mainly oriented on Olympic sports.
The development of sports among the disabled as an important tool of their social adaptation is a special concern of the state. Sports federations, clubs and local sports organizations are responsible for physical rehabilitation of the disabled. Belarusian disabled sportsmen take part in Paralympic Games.
At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing the team of Belarus occupied the 21st place. The Belarusians won 13 medals: five gold, seven silver and one bronze medals.
Since the beginning of 2009 Belarusian athletes have participated in 488 international sporting events, both junior and senior, where they won a total of 108 medals: 28 gold, 33 silver, and 47 bronze medals.
The 2008 sports highlight was the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing. They were the most successful in the history of sovereign Belarus, which first participated in the Olympics as an independent team in 1994. Belarus was 16th in the overall medal scoreboard among 204 nations and 13th in terms of gold medals. Belarus won 19 medals: four gold, five silver and ten bronze medals.