Fifty Years History of Sports Success in Severodonetsk, Destroyed by the Russians

Last year, the renovated children’s and youth sports school of water sports «Sadko» should have celebrated its 50th anniversary. Instead, the facility met its birthday with breached walls, a dry pool, and under occupation.

The Severodonetsk "Sadko" pool was destroyed by the Russians / photo collage of Severodonetsk CMA and Luhansk RMA

Two months before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Severodonetsk sports community and all the townspeople celebrated a significant event: on December 15, 2021, the swimming pool of the «Sadko» children’s and youth sports school was opened after major repairs. The reconstruction continued as part of the implementation of the «Big Construction» program and was carried out with the funds of the local budget and the State Fund for Regional Development.

The «Sadko» swimming pool has been operating since 1970. Two years later, a sports school was opened on its base. Capital repair in the institution took place for the first time in fifty years. As part of the project, the pool basin was repaired, the interior decoration of the walls, floor, and ceiling was performed, the lighting was replaced, and the exterior decoration of the balcony was performed with the replacement of the fence — comfortable conditions were created for water sports for up to 30 athletes and 60 spectators in the stands.

«Sadko» swimming pool after reconstruction

Photo: Severodonetsk city military administration

Conditions were created for water sports for up to 30 athletes / photo: Severodonetsk city military administration

Reconstruction was carried out for about five months according to modern world standards using high-quality materials. The level of the material and technical base of the sports school after the completed works allowed it to hold events not only at the city, regional, or state level but also at the international level.

The sports gem of Severodonetsk cost Ukrainian taxpayers almost ten million hryvnias.
During the activity of the «Sadko» sports school, three honored masters of sports of Ukraine, 22 masters of sports of Ukraine of international class, 67 masters of sports of Ukraine, and 192 candidates for master of sports of Ukraine were trained.

«Sadko» school was the only place in the region where underwater sports — swimming in flippers and underwater orientation — were performed. Before the «demilitarization» of Luhansk oblast, 206 sportsmen were engaged in «Sadko», the best of whom represented the region at all-Ukrainian, European and world competitions, where they were repeatedly winners and prize-winners.

On March 8 of last year, during the «holiday demilitarization» shelling of Severodonetsk by the Russian occupiers, a shell hit the roof of the sports school — a fire broke out in the gym on the second floor. According to the available information, looters also actively «worked» in the building.

«At the time of the first shellings, the walls and roof were damaged. The current state of the building and the pool basin is not known,» Anton Volokhov, the head of the youth and sports department of the Luhansk military administration, says to «Vchasno».

On July 15, 2022, the children’s and youth sports school of water sports «Sadko» should celebrate its 50th anniversary with a new face. Instead, the facility met its birthday with breached walls, a dry pool, and under occupation.

«Sadko» swimming pool after shelling / photo: Luhansk regional military administration

This news was created by the «Vchasno» news agency as part of the IWPR program «Supporting regional media of Ukraine during the war» with the financial support of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The content of the material is the sole responsibility of «Vchasno» and does not reflect the views of the British Government or the Institute of War and Peace Reporting.

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