Sport has the power to transform communities – Sergey Bubka

IOC Member Sergey Bubka has reiterated his belief that sport has the power to transform communities, bring people together and can be used as a means of positive change.

We have worked with Mr. Bubka for a number of years, organising charity visits around the world and promoting his vision about the importance of sport in society.

Calacus was honoured to have been invited to the Ukraine National Olympic Committee centenary celebrations held in Kiev in the spring of 2013, organised by Mr. Bubka, who is the organisation’s President.

During the event, it was clear that Ukraine enjoys a passion for sport that appeared to be shaped by the vision Mr. Bubka has for the well-being of his country.

Of course, the past year has been one of great change for Ukraine.

With an unsettled political situation, the country faces great challenges and yet Mr. Bubka, who is also the IAAF Vice President, has continued his drive to promote the importance of sport.

“It’s true that Ukraine is going through a difficult period and there are many challenges to address,” said Mr. Bubka. “But it is my job to ensure that sport continues to be used as a tool for positive development both within Ukraine and around the world.

“Sport has been my life and I learnt so many lessons about discipline, respect, dedication and collaboration through my sporting experiences.

“But I also saw the dreams of many taken away when boycotts were held ahead of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. It is one of the darkest episodes of my life and I am determined to do all I can to ensure no athlete is denied the opportunity to compete at the highest level because of politics.

“Even during Sochi 2014, the Ukraine Olympic team continued to compete and hopefully raised spirits and united our compatriots back home.”

One such example was the highly successful UEFA EURO 2012 where thousands of football fans were welcomed from around the world and Mr. Bubka believes that such events are vital for national sporting development.

He added: “We as Ukrainians were proud to welcome a wide range of sports fans and share in the excitement and drama of sport. Even during the most challenging times that we have faced this year, the government has continued to support the investment in sport and the ideals of the Olympic Movement.

“I have discussed my vision at length with IOC President Thomas Bach, IAAF President Lamine Diack and many others within our international family of sport. We all serve a common purpose: to protect the integrity of sport; to engage with young people to ensure that we do not lose a generation for whom a sedentary lifestyle is now more tempting and available than ever before; and to inspire new and existing audiences through participation and support.”