Renovated sports complex for people with disabilities opens in Poltava Oblast thanks to EU and EIB support

May 24, 2023

Demonstration performance by members of the Ukrainian national Deaflympics karate team.

Photo: Artem Hetman / UNDP in Ukraine

Reshetylivka, Ukraine, 24 May 2023 — The Kolos sports and rehabilitation complex for people with disabilities opened today in Reshetylivka, Poltava Oblast, after having undergone extensive reconstruction within the EIB’s Ukraine Early Recovery Programme. 

The centre will provide a full range of rehabilitation services for more than 300 children and young people with musculoskeletal, visual, hearing, physical and mental development disorders. The “Kolos” will also train highly qualified athletes to join Ukraine’s national teams of paralympic and deaflympic sports.

The renovation is an initiative of the European Union, its bank, the European Investment Bank in partnership with the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development and Infrastructure of Ukraine, Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, the Poltava Oblast Administration, Poltava Oblast Council and with the technical support of the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP).

The reconstruction of the “Kolos” started in April 2021 and continued amidst the full-scale war after February 2022. The works included strengthening the building foundation, reconstruction of the roof, garage, and porches, installation of thermal insulation, interior finishing works, and landscaping. To increase the complex capacity, an additional floor was constructed. The windows and doors were replaced, and the new ventilation, lighting, power, and water supply networks were installed. The installation of a fully accessible elevator, corridors, and entryways for people with disabilities made the building fully inclusive. The fire safety of the complex also was improved. 

Kolos Director Serhii Kot’man said the reconstruction of the sports complex would help many Ukrainians to continue winning in various international competitions. “We are proud of our athletes who became winners in many prestigious international competitions,” he said. “With the reconstruction of the facility, we can now provide more opportunities for our athletes to train and compete at the highest level.”

Head of Poltava Oblast Administration Dmytro Lunin said the reopening of the sports complex in Reshetylivka is a source of great pride for the Oblast. “Thank you to the construction workers who have completed the works in wartime,” he said. “We are also grateful to our European partners for continuing to care for the Ukrainian communities and making a real impact on the ground.”

Reshetylivka Mayor Oksana Diadiunova also thanked the partners for their support. “This complex is a comfortable space for our young athletes with disabilities where they can improve their skills and develop social ties,” she said. “We are grateful and proud to celebrate the opening of the renovated “Kolos” in our city, a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together towards a common goal.”

The renovation was financed through a €930,000 EIB loan supported with €220,000 from the Poltava Oblast. In addition to the contractual works, the local authorities have initiated the construction of a new sports hall, with €980, 000 from the Oblast budget.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister for the restoration of Ukraine — Minister for communities, territories and infrastructure development of Ukraine, underlined the importance of social projects like this one during wartime. “We're striving to build a society that will be convenient and comfortable for everyone. One of the recovery's priorities is to build back with inclusiveness, sustainability, and safety in mind.”

Jean-Erik de Zagon, Head of the Resident Representation of the European Investment Bank to Ukraine, said: “We are glad to support Ukraine globally but also locally, improving lives in the small communities and leaving no one behind. Children and adults with disabilities have special needs that are more difficult to cover during the war. In cooperation with the EU, UNDP, and Ukrainian partners, we’ve provided young sportsmen with comfortable training conditions, fostering their physical and mental well-being for better results and a better life.”

Martin Schroeder, Head of Section “Local and Human Development” at the EU Delegation to Ukraine said: “Now more than ever, Ukrainian cities need our assistance in rebuilding social infrastructure to keep providing educational and recreational services to inhabitants and making their lives a bit better. The upgraded complex will give young athletes with disabilities space for professional development and enhance their sense of belonging in times of uncertainty.”

Christophoros Politis, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to Ukraine, stressed the contribution of the project to inclusivity and physical and mental rehabilitation in the recovery of Ukraine. "The renovation of the Kolos complex is an important step towards ensuring equal access to sports, healthcare, and social services for people with disabilities,” he said. “Through this project, UNDP is proud of the partnership with the EIB and the local authorities of Poltava aimed at strengthening recovery and building more inclusive and sustainable communities in Ukraine."

Background: The renovation of the sports complex in Poltava Oblast is supported as part of the Ukraine Early Recovery Programme (UERP), a EUR 200 million multi-sectoral framework loan from the European Investment Bank to local authorities to rehabilitate social infrastructure and improve living conditions for internally displaced persons and their host communities in nine Oblasts of Ukraine. It includes the Ukrainian government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Poltava, Odesa, Kherson, and Kyiv Oblasts. The Programme is implemented by the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development and Infrastructure of Ukraine and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine jointly with the local self-government bodies under the technical support of the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP). The UERP is supported by grants of €7 million from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Platform (NIP) and of €8 million from the EU Delegation Bilateral Funds.

Media enquiries: 

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: 

Olga Sushytska, Communication officer, EIB in Ukraine,