Who of us hasn’t played badminton at least once in our lives? At least in their childhood, in their neighborhood or at the beach? It’s merely an active, dynamic game for leisure, which takes dexterity and quick reflexes and nothing more than that, right? Guess what – wrong! Badminton is an Olympic sport! And not just spectacular, but also highly technical and potentially traumatic. A long time ago, in the ‘60s of the last century, badminton was at the peak of popularity, yearly championships of different degrees were held in Odesa, there were functioning badminton sports groups. Nowadays badminton comes back to life, for example, it’s already the third time an International Tournament is held in Odesa, and for two years in a row it’s been taking place at the base of the splendid new modern sports complex of the International Humanitarian University.
The initiator of creating this sports complex is the Honorary Citizen of Odesa, the President of the National University “Odesa Academy of Law” and the IHU, Sergey Kivalov, is happy to learn that the guests of the sports complex carry with them the nicest impressions about the reception received in Odesa as they leave for their homes. Because what else a true patriot can wish for his homeland? – prosperity, success and good reputation.
“Badminton is a special kind of sport, it should be taken seriously. And today the youth’s view on badminton is changing, partly owing to the effort of the Badminton Federation of Ukraine, headed by Alexey Dneprov. For example, today there are representatives from China, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria and other states near and far abroad, present here. And I’m glad that today the sports grounds of the National University “Odesa Academy of Law” and the International Humanitarian University are used to hold the international-level tournaments for all kinds of sports in Ukraine. At the very beginning of the construction of this complex we had to hear questions like, “Why are you building all that?!”. Well, that’s why, for people to practice, for sport to grow. Here’s an example – badminton. A few decades ago this kind of sport was in decline. In no small part because there wasn’t any sports ground corresponding to the requirements of this Olympic sport. Yet now – look around, how many people have come to attend the tournament! I’m very glad to see this area of sports growing in Ukraine,” – says Sergey Kivalov.
Today, for a second year in a row, the International Tournament is being held in the walls of the International Humanitarian University’s sports complex. It integrates amateurs, those who engage in sports professionally and veterans – namely two hundreds of participants from thirteen countries of the world, which include even China and Albion.
Therefore, Odesa is becoming not only the sports capital of Ukraine, but also a unique attraction point, a development center of the international tourism. Not only the highest level of hosting this tournament, but also high-quality service and good organization of each and every sports event held at the base of the IHU’s and the Academy of Law of Odesa contribute to it.
“Over the last years in Odesa the development of badminton has received a huge boost. This is very important, because badminton is an Olympic sport, which provides an opportunity for our country to assert itself on the international level. The research and education complex the National University “Odesa Academy of Law” and the International Humanitarian University, supported by the president of both universities Sergey Vasiliyovich Kivalov, has greatly raised the bar of opportunities for professional badminton players to develop. Over the last two years a great number of tournaments has been held: those are universiades, olympiads, amateur tournaments, and, most importantly – the International Tournament for the “Black Sea Cup”,” – says Valentin Fyodorov, the head of the Odessa Regional Badminton Federation.
The “Black Sea Cup” international badminton tournament is the grandest-scale of such tournaments in Ukraine, namely combined badminton tournaments. Anyone willing may take part in this tournament. Age restrictions: teenagers of at least 14, youth and players of 35+, 45+, 55+, 65+ years of age.
Cities of Ukraine, represented by teams: Kyiv (the most numerous team in Ukraine), Odesa (23 participants in the team), Vinnitsa, Kharkiv, Dnepr, Zaporizhya, Ternopil, Zhitomir, Mykolayiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy. Participants from foreign countries: Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Poland, India. Also Abdul Chair Öztürk – the Third Racquet of Turkey, Van Ling from China, Amin Purhadi from Iran (sports manager), Elisbar Sariya from Georgia (sports manager).
“Badminton is a lifetime kind of sports, it can be played at any level: from kindergarten-amateur to Olympic,” – says Vladimir Kizyma, the head of the “Olympic Odessa” sports group. “Today the International Badminton Tournament, the “Black Sea Cup” is being held here. Sincerely speaking, I must admit that no less than the game itself we appreciate a chance to see each other, talk, just spend time together. I’d say that badminton is a kind of brotherhood with its own set of rules: we’re opponents to each other only during a match, the rest of the time we’re closer than friends. And where else it’s better to spend time together with friends, other than on the beach of the warm gentle sea, in the shadow of pine trees? This is a unique combination that we all greatly enjoy. After the championship we hosted last year in the “University” sports complex, this year’s Cup has gathered a record number of participants upon attendance – 198 people, of which more than 70 are foreign athletes from 13 countries of Europe and Asia. I think, in the future we will keep striving to host our games at this same place.”
Vladislav Savelyev is a master of sport in badminton, currently involved in coaching. Vlad himself has won two matches out of three and is now waiting for the finals.
“I’ve brought the youngest of my apprentices – they are 12 and 13, and seven more athletes who are older. It’s our first time in Odesa, previously we’ve played in other cities of Ukraine, participated in European championships, in Asian countries. Here I like everything: high ceilings, good locker rooms and showers, and, most importantly – a surface like this you won’t find anywhere else. You can rest easy – the court’s surface is extremely comfortable, anti-traumatic. There is also an opinion, that the level of badminton championship is characterized by the amount of courts. As for that – there’s six of them here! This is the megalevel! Even if I don’t succeed in winning the finals, I’ll still be glad to have participated in this cool tournament!” says Vlad.
The tournament will last for four days, the finals will take place on Sunday.