OKSANA KOLIADA: INVICTUS IS ABOUT PATRIOTISM AND IMPROVING DEFENSE CAPABILITIES
On September 14, 2019 Kyiv hosted its third National Trials - INVICTUS GAMES*, co-organized by the Ministry for Veterans Affairs**
National Trials «Invictus Games» is, first of all, a rehabilitation activity for Ukrainian wounded warriors, their families and friends, an opportunity to spend time in a circle of counterparts and people who hold similar views. And only then it is sport.
«Competition is uplifting, and the support here is incredible»
Ihor Pikulitskyi from Lviv, a former serviceman, volunteer, is sure that Invictus Games is a good rehabilitation measure, which motivates wounded veterans to leave their homes and socialize. Before the injury, Ihor was actively involved in sports; he was even awarded the title of Candidate for Master of Sports in boxing, but after returning from war he abandoned training. However, now he has returned to regular training and has taken part in Trials.
«Invictus Games is very important for servicemen and for me personally. These things unite - feel like communicating, exchange information, want to be here because you are looking at people who have much more serious problems than I had. Trials raise their spirits, and the support is really incredible here. I wish success to every participant who would like to take part, not to doubt themselves, go outside and train and everything will be OK!», ‒ Ihor shares his impressions.
«The battle is not between us or with each other; the battle is with ourselves»
The border guard Yuriy Kozlovskyi, despite the fact that he lost his left leg in armed conflict in Kramatorsk, won 3rd place in a tense 100 metres race. He believes that such trials are very important for the guys who are now recovering in hospitals, so that they can see that if you make an effort, everything is absolutely possible.
«We have different injuries, different periods after injuries, different prostheses and experience of using them, different age, weight, so we cannot be compared with healthy athletes», ‒ Yuriy shares his experience.
Oleksandr, a fighter of «Dnipro-1» Regiment, participated in battle of Ilovaisk, took part in swimming competitions. According to the fighter, sport has become an important component of his rehabilitation after being injured.
Bohdan Usharuk, Luhansk from 51st Mechanized Brigade exercises rowing on a simulator. Bohdan is sure that sport is an effective means of rehabilitation after an injury - last year he took part in the 43rd Naval Infantry marathon.
Invictus Games is a celebration of strength of spirit and mutual support, which is open to all Ukrainians. During the day, there were several sports and entertainment venues and a food court for everyone at the stadium, and a specially equipped area for children.
MY DREAM IS FOR «INVICTUS GAMES» TO BECOME USUAL KIND OF SPORT - MINISTER OKSANA KOLIADA
The selection and training of National Team 2020 is carried out by Ministry for Veterans Affairs of Ukraine together with NGO «Come Back Alive» and the Centre for Strategic Communications StratCom Ukraine with the support of Intergovernmental Working Group.
The project team promotes the development and popularization of sport as an effective rehabilitation among wounded soldiers, and also encourages society and the state to create necessary conditions for this.
Opening the Invictus Games Oksana Koliada, the Minister of Veterans Affairs noted the importance of ensuring access for all veterans, including those who are injured to training, and for Invictus Games to become a regular sport on a par with other.
«My dream is that it would not surprise anyone that veterans, in particular with disabilities, on prosthetics are in the gym or on the sports ground. I want this to become common. So that veterans have access and the opportunity to train every day, so that it becomes part of their daily lives», ‒ noted Oksana Koliada.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky began his speech with a moment of silence in honour of the fallen defenders of Ukraine, and also emphasized his openness to communication with veterans.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY: IN THE NEAR FUTURE NEW DRAFT LAW ON THE STATUS OF VETERANS AND VOLUNTEERS WILL APPEAR IN THE PARLIAMENT
In his speech, the President of Ukraine announced the initiative of new draft law on the status of veterans and volunteers. He promised to identify the documents with highest priority.
«I believe that this draft law, which was developed by the Ministry for Veterans Affairs together with veterans, will soon appear in parliament», - said the Head of State during the opening ceremony of the National Trials «Invictus Games» in Kyiv.
President wished the national team in the International Invictus Games 2020 in the Netherlands to amaze the whole world with its character, its resilience, its result.
Volodymyr Zelensky examined the locations of the Pioneer stadium, where more than 200 participants – Ukrainian veterans and servicemen, who were wounded, injured or got ill while performing their duties in the combat zone competed in four sports.
Participants competed in the disciplines of athletics (running, long jumps, shot put, and wheelchair running), archery, powerlifting and rowing on simulators.
Swimming competitions took place on the territory of the pool of Central Sports Club of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and cycling took place on Tupolev Street near the stadium.
Sportsmen, organizers and guests who came to support the participants of Invictus Games noted the amazing atmosphere of the event.
OLEKSANDR TERESHCHENKO: EVERYONE HERE HAS ONE BLOOD, ONE SPIRIT AND ONE WILL
Oleksandr Tereshchenko, Deputy Minister for Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine:
«Just by entering the territory of the Pioneer stadium, you feel the incredible atmosphere of "Brothers in Arms». Everyone here has one blood, one spirit and one will. Slightly holding the irony, I listen to the traditional «it's only a game» or something similar for friendly competitions. Here the concept of friendship is completely different - to cover up, lead out from the line of fire, share ammo or MRE... On the treadmill, in the pool, in the sector for shot put or archery everything will be for real - only for a win, because everybody here is Invincible».
Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk visited some locations of the event and even tested some, and also has awarded the winners of the final part of the selection of participants to join the national team of Ukraine who will take part in the International Invictus Games 2020, which will be held in May in The Hague.
«It is a great honour for me to be here, to greet people who demonstrated high responsibility at a very responsible moment for the country and went to defend our land. This is incredibly important for us, and we as a Government will try to work efficiently to make life easier for you», ‒ said Oleksiy Honcharuk, addressing the participants of the competition.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine:
«Invictus Games in Ukraine is a hope. Hope for a new life, for the internal victory of everyone who went through the terrible crucible war and this is our opportunity to support and help them return to peaceful life».
OKSANA KOLIADA: THANKS TO INVINCIBLE!
Minister Oksana Koliada thanked all participants, organizers and partners of the competition:
«I want to share positive emotions, glory to everyone involved in this holiday - first of all to the participants, but also to partners and guests.
The third «Invictus Games» is a very inspiring and emotional phenomenon, a real family holiday! That's right - family, because we are one family! I hope that all the high statesmen who have joined our holiday have understood what we feel with our hearts!
Invictus is not about sports, and not even about rehabilitation. Invictus is about willpower.
Owing to the Invictus Games, understanding comes that weakness has no place in our life.
Invictus is about patriotism.
Invictus is about improving defence capabilities»
Selection Committee Meetings have begun today and will last for a month. With the protocols of athletics competitions (100 m, 400 m, 1500 m run, long jump, shot put), swimming (50 m breast stroke, 50 m freestyle, 50 m on the back), rowing on the simulator (1 min, 4 min), powerlifting, highway cycling and archery can be accessed at the following link.
The announcement of the Ukrainian national team to participate in the International Invictus Games, which will be held in 2020 in Hague, is scheduled for October 17.
*The Invictus Games, created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex in 2014, international competitions for veterans and servicemen which were wounded, injured or sick while performing their duties.
Ukraine joined the Invictus Games in 2017, making its debut at competitions in Toronto, Canada, in 2018 in Sydney, Australia, and in May next year will take part in third Invictus Games 2020 in The Hague.
The goal of «Invictus Games in Ukraine» project is to create new opportunities for wounded and injured Ukrainian veterans and servicemen, supporting them on the path to physical recovery, psychological rehabilitation and social integration.
** In accordance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from September 2, 2019 No.829 «Some Issues of Optimization of the System of Central Executive GovernmentBodies», the Ministry for Veterans Affairs was renamed the Ministry for Veterans, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons