Following overhaul, thirty-year-old sports centre now boasts region’s largest, most modern indoor basketball and handball court
Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, 16 June 2021 – Melitopol now has one of the region’s largest and most modern sports facilities with the opening in the city today of the reconstructed Sports School No. 3 for children and young people.
The 30-year-old sports centre was renovated and modernized with the help of a loan provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme (UERP), with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine and local government.
Young people in Melitopol district, including 465 children from families of internally displaced persons (IDPs), now have a convenient and modern sports centre in which to engage in sports or watch sports competitions.
Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Rémi Duflot said that the opening of the sports centre was a visible and concrete benefit of the EU-Ukraine Association for the citizens of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
“All people deserve a decent place to live, grow and learn,” Duflot said. “That is why the EU strongly supports the modernisation of social infrastructure in Ukraine. We’re proud that the concessional loans of the EIB, the EU bank, together with the EU's grant money, were put to good use to renovate apartments for internally displaced persons in Berdiansk, as well as renovate Children and Youth Sports School No. 3 in Melitopol.”
The sports school for children and young people in Melitopol was overhauled for the first time since it was built, 30 years ago.
During the renovation of the building, large-scale improvements were made, including:
● installation of water supply, sewerage, electricity, and heating networks;
● installation of modern ventilation and fire alarm systems;
● complete replacement of windows and doors;
● renovation of the roof and balconies, including the installation of a glass balcony in the large sports hall;
● insulation and decorative illumination of the front the building;
● re-planning of floors 1 to 4;
● setting up a large sports hall with special flooring and markings;
● renovation of a gym with mirrors on the wall for classes;
● equipping of locker rooms;
● landscaping and planting of surrounding exterior area;
● flooring of indoor football field and basketball court;
● installation of new sports equipment on a playground, etc.
The cost of the reconstruction totalled UAH 51.45 million, of which nearly UAH 43 million were loan funds from the EIB, and over UAH 2 million were funds from the local budget.
The real pride of the renovated facility is its sports hall for basketball and handball, which is now the largest and most modern in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. It is able to host not only national but also international competitions. It is impressive not only in terms of its size – ten meters high to the roof beams, with a playing area of 800 square meters – but also its features, which include a glass balcony, along with a large LED screen and several video cameras to provide close-up coverage of the events on the competition court or field.
Head of Zaporizhzhia Regional State Administration Oleksandr Starukh underlined the importance of the regional government's partnership with the European Investment Bank and UNDP in Ukraine in rebuilding social infrastructure.
“The opening of this sports school is a very important step for inculcating sports and physical culture in the children of our community,” Starukh said. “We hope for new sports achievements and victories at the country and worldwide levels!"
The sports school also has a hostel (six rooms and four bathrooms with showers) to accommodate visiting athletes during competitions. In addition, the school for the first time has a ramp and a bathroom for low mobility groups. And instead of 11 old locker rooms, the centre now has 32 modern ones, with showers and other amenities, allowing the renovated school to cater for a larger number of young athletes – every day about 400 children will be able to do one of seven sports: judo, handball, basketball, sumo, wrestling, swimming and rhythmic gymnastics.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated school, Senior Sector Specialist of the Regional Development Division at the European Investment Bank Roy Draycott highlighted the great importance for the EIB in creating a favourable environment for children to engage them in sports activities, and to develop and nurture their talents.
"Sport and physical activity can inspire and empower young people to fulfil their potential and live longer, healthier lives. I'm happy that our Ukraine Early Recovery Programme can contribute to this," he said.
Manager of the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) Victor Munteanu said the opening of the sports centre would also provide an economic boost to the region.
“Facilities like these are not just beneficial for the health of a region’s children – they also provide economic benefits,” Munteanu said. “The ability to hold both national and international competitions here will promote and increase travel to the region, which is good for other local business.”
Renovation projects under the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme in Zaporizhzhia Oblast
In total, 30 socially important facilities in Berdiansk, Huliaipole, Zaporizhzhia, Melitopol and Prymorsk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast are to be renovated with a total cost of EUR 32 million under the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme. These include 4 kindergartens, 12 secondary and specialized schools, 7 medical facilities, five residential buildings, a Palace of Arts and a Palace of Culture.
The Ukraine Early Recovery Programme is not one-time aid. As a result of the implementation of the programme, the EIB and the EU have provided an additional loan of EUR 340 million. These funds will also be used to rebuild infrastructure and improve conditions for living and doing business in conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine, as well as to promote sustainable development.
Olga Sushytska, email@example.com, tel.: +38 067 243 63 55
Yuliia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP Ukraine, firstname.lastname@example.org, +380971391475
About the EIB:
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its member states. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
About the EIB in Ukraine:
The EIB has worked with Ukraine since 2007. Ukraine has been the main recipient country of EIB support in the Eastern Neighbourhood, accounting for more than 60 percent of EIB lending activity in this region. The bank focuses on social and economic infrastructure, transport and connectivity, local private sector development, energy efficiency, climate action, and innovation. Today, the EIB is one of the largest investors in Ukraine with signed projects worth around EUR 7 billion.
About the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme (UERP):
The Ukraine Early Recovery Programme is implemented in accordance with the Financing Agreement between Ukraine and the European Investment Bank. Through the programme, the EIB provided EUR 200 million in multi-sectoral framework loans to local authorities to rehabilitate important utilities and transport infrastructure and improve living conditions for internally displaced persons and their host communities in nine oblasts of Ukraine: the Ukrainian government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Poltava, Odesa, Kherson, and Kyiv oblasts.